I discuss Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s current stock activities as of Q3 2022.
Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing came out on November 14 for the quarter that ended on September 30, 2022, and I reflect on some of the moves that were both expected and surprising to me.
There was about $9 billion of stock purchases that Berkshire made in the third quarter. While that seems like a lot of money to many of us, but for Berkshire that’s only 8.25% of their current almost $109 billion of cash on hand.
Berkshire’s $109B cash hoard has actually increased from the $105B in Q2 2022 and the $106B in Q1 2022. So really Berkshire hasn’t been aggressively spending or investing as much as you would think given the current downward trends in the stock market.
After Berkshire did blockbuster stock repurchases in having bought back $25B in 2020 and $27B in 2021, the pace of buybacks has slowed considerably. There were $3.2B of buybacks in Q1 2022, followed by about $1B in Q2 2022, and now there was about $1.1B in Q3 2022. So far this year, Berkshire has only done $5.3B of buybacks even as their stock price generally trended downward in 2022.
Maybe higher interest rates are changing the math on doing stock buybacks as there may be more opportunities to deploy capital into other assets.
It’s easy to assume that Warren Buffett is purchasing large amounts of stock, but he has repeatedly said in the past that it’s not necessarily him at Berkshire that is buying or selling equities. So we shouldn’t jump to conclusions prematurely.
While Warren Buffett definitely said he had made Activision Blizzard (ATVI) purchases before, but it’s unclear as to whether it was his decision or someone else’s at Berkshire to reduce this holding in Q3.
In addition in Q3 2022, someone at Berkshire bought Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM) to the tune of over $4B across 60 million shares. It’s interesting that Berkshire bought TSM, given the uncertainty of the tensions between Taiwan, China, and the US.
It’s interesting how Daily Journal (DJCO) has remained invested in Alibaba (BABA) in Q3, while Berkshire has gone with a significant investment in this Taiwanese company making Taiwan Semi now the 10th out of 49 positions in the Berkshire portfolio. I intend to look more into Taiwan Semi to see if it could be within my circle of competence to potentially invest in. Or just stick with Berkshire B (BRK-B) if it’s too hard to garner conviction.
Berkshire sold entirely out of STORE Capital and instead also bought Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) and Jefferies Financial Group (JEF).
I expected Berkshire to keep investing in Buffett’s latest favorite field, oil and gas, and this trend continued with more purchases in Chevron and Occidental Petroleum.
I am surprised that Berkshire did not continue buying Apple (AAPL), Markel (MKL), and Ally Financial (ALLY) as they did in the previous two quarters because these companies’ stock prices were sometimes lower in Q3 than what Berkshire had previously bought them at. I sometimes wondered if Berkshire was driving Markel’s stock price even higher, but I guess it wasn’t them in Q3.
As in Q2, in Q3 Berkshire kept adding to Celanese and Paramount Global but kept reducing in General Motors, Kroger, and US Bancorp. They also reduced in Bank of New York Mellon in Q3.
I shared my thoughts and opinions about these current Berkshire Hathaway moves.
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