Berkshire Hathaway is led by Warren Buffett — one of the largest asset managers. The company has to release its holdings within 45 days after a quarter ends. So far, Berkshire Hathaway has made several surprise moves in 2020. The company has exited airline stocks, trimmed its stake in banking stocks, bought a stake in a gold mining company, and invested in the Snowflake IPO. What are Berkshire Hathaway’s top holdings in 2020?
Berkshire Hathaway’s top holdings in 2020
Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio of publicly-traded companies is valued at around $233 billion. Apple, Berkshire Hathaway's largest holding, accounts for a little under half of its portfolio value. While Buffett hasn’t added any Apple shares since the third quarter of 2018, Apple stock has more than doubled since then. Amazon, Verisign, and Snowflake are the other prominent tech holdings in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio. Berkshire Hathaway holds a 0.1 percent stake in Amazon and a 2.8 percent stake in Snowflake.
Berkshire Hathaway's equity holdings in 2020
Usually, Warren Buffett prefers to invest in consumer and financial stocks, which is also reflected in Berkshire Hathaway’s equity holdings. Incidentally, Buffett sees Apple as a consumer company. Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz are the other prominent consumer stocks in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio. The company holds a 9.3 percent and 26.6 percent stake, respectively, in these companies according to the second-quarter 13F filings. Coca-Cola and Kraft-Heinz are Berkshire Hathaway’s third and fifth-largest holdings, respectively.
Bank of America is Berkshire Hathaway’s second-largest holding with a market value of around $25 billion. While Warren Buffett has trimmed stakes in other banks like JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs, he has added a stake in Bank of America in 2020. Berkshire Hathaway holds a 3.3 percent stake in Wells Fargo. Previously, the company held around 10 percent in the bank.
What's in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio?
Berkshire Hathaway also holds an 18.8 percent stake in American Express — its fourth-largest holding. Moody’s Corporation, U.S. Bancorp, and Wells Fargo are its sixth, seventh, and eighth-largest holdings, respectively. Charter Communications is Berkshire Hathaway’s ninth-largest holding followed by DaVita where Berkshire Hathaway holds over a 31 percent stake. Verisign is Warren Buffett’s eleventh-largest holding. Berkshire Hathaway holds an 11.2 percent stake in the company.
In August, Berkshire Hathaway also announced over a 5 percent passive stake in five leading Japanese trading companies. The companies are Sumitomo Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., Marubeni Corp., and Itochu Corp. Berkshire Hathaway’s second-quarter 13F also revealed a stake in Barrick Gold. The move surprised markets given Buffett’s pessimistic views on gold. However, a gold mining company is different from buying gold. The decision was likely taken by a different investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway.
Berkshire Hathaway’s cash holdings
Berkshire Hathaway’s cash holdings have swelled over the last two years. Buffett hasn’t been able to identify appropriate investment opportunities. Berkshire Hathaway was a net seller of over $13 billion of stocks in the second quarter of 2020 — its largest in years. Berkshire Hathaway also sold stocks in the first quarter even as the U.S. stock markets crashed.
Berkshire Hathaway held $146.6 billion as cash and cash equivalents at the end of the second quarter of 2020 — up by $9.4 billion from the sequential quarter. Berkshire Hathaway’s cash pile surged to a new record in the quarter despite it spending $5.1 billion on share repurchases.