Buffett’s Love for Banking Stocks Continued in Q4


Feb. 18 2019, Updated 7:31 a.m. ET

Banking stocks

Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-B) chairman, has a flair for financial stocks (XLF). Berkshire Hathaway is the largest shareholder in Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), U.S. Bancorp (USB), and American Express (AXP). Berkshire Hathaway also added JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and PNC Financial Services (PNC) during the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Buffett added to Berkshire Hathaway’s banking holdings.

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More shares

In the fourth quarter, Berkshire Hathaway added more shares of U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Bank of New York Mellon (BK). Berkshire Hathaway also added more shares of PNC Financial. However, the company trimmed its stake in Wells Fargo. Over the last few quarters, Berkshire Hathaway has been selling some Wells Fargo shares to limit its stake in the company below 10%.

In the fourth quarter, Berkshire Hathaway also added some Travelers (TRV) shares. Suncor (SU) was another new addition to Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio in the fourth quarter. The company is seen as a bet on the Canadian energy sector. Suncor also has oil sands projects in Canada including with one with diversified miner Teck Resources (TECK).

Trimmed airlines 

While Berkshire Hathaway loaded banking shares in the fourth quarter, it trimmed its stake in some airline stocks. The company sold shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) and United Continental (UAL) shares. Berkshire Hathaway also sold some shares in Phillips 66 (PSX) and Charter Communications (CHTR).

This century, Berkshire Hathaway’s outperformance compared to the S&P 500 (SPY) hasn’t been as phenomenal as the last century. Read Analyzing Warren Buffett’s Investments in the 21st Century to learn more.


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