Berkshire Hathaway said in filings with the SEC and Hong Kong stock exchanges that it had sold off a significant amount of U.S. Bancorp and BYD stock in recent weeks. The new filing expected Monday afternoon will detail all the stock moves it made in the third quarter.
Many investors follow Berkshire’s moves closely because of Buffett‘s remarkably successful track record over the decades.
Berkshire said Friday that it now holds 3.5% of U.S. Bancorp’s stock, down from nearly 10% at the start of the year. The 52.5 million shares Berkshire now holds were worth roughly $2.4 billion Monday.
But financial stocks remain a core part of Berkshire’s portfolio. The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate’s stake of more than 1 billion shares of Bank of America is one of its biggest investments.
Berkshire’s filings with regulators don’t make clear which investment decisions were made by Buffett and which ones were the responsibility of the company’s two other portfolio managers, but Buffett generally handles the bigger investments exceeding $1 billion. Berkshire officials don’t routinely comment on these stock filings, and they haven’t said why they are selling BYD and U.S. Bancorp stocks.
Berkshire said it now owns a little over 182 million BYD shares, down from 225 million when it started selling off the stock in August. Previously, Buffett hadn’t touched the investment he paid $232 million for in 2008. The stake had soared in value to nearly $7.7 billion by the end of last year.
Buffett’s company now holds 16.6% of the Hong Kong-issued shares of BYD.
Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 90 companies outright, including Geico insurance, BNSF railroad, several major utilities and an assortment of manufacturing and retail companies.