Famed investor Warren Buffett, at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B), has once again divulged key changes to his portfolio, as revealed in the second-quarter filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As customary, this mandatory disclosure sheds light on Berkshire Hathaway’s strategic moves, and this quarter, investors have witnessed notable adjustments in the Oracle of Omaha’s holdings. In total, Warren Buffett sold $8 billion worth of stocks, however he still made a few purchases in some old favorites, like Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and homebuilders like D.R. Horton (DHI), Lennar (LEN), and NVR (NVR). Here’s what Buffett sold, and how much he sold.
Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI): Reduced by 70%
In a surprising “buy the hype, sell the news” style move, Berkshire Hathaway slashed its position in video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. by a significant 70%. This decision comes in the wake of Microsoft Corp.’s announcement of a $68.7 billion buyout deal for Activision Blizzard, at a rate of $95 per share. Berkshire’s reduction of its ATVI holdings comes as antitrust regulators in the U.S. and the U.K. aim to challenge the proposed acquisition. The firm now retains approximately 14.7 million shares of ATVI, valuing the position at approximately $1.2 billion.
Chevron Corp. (CVX): Sold Off 9.2 Million Shares
Warren Buffett initially invested in U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. in Q4 2020, but a series of market fluctuations and geopolitical events prompted a reversal of fortune. Despite initially selling shares in Q1 and Q2 of 2021, Berkshire Hathaway resumed purchasing Chevron shares as global energy markets faced turbulence, driven in part by Russia’s actions in Ukraine. However, in Q2 2023, Buffett chose to divest over 9.2 million CVX shares, though the company still holds a substantial position of 123.1 million shares, valued at around $19.4 billion.
McKesson Corp. (MCK): Complete Divestment
Berkshire Hathaway’s association with pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. has come to a close. Initially, Warren Buffett acquired a stake of 2.9 million shares in MCK during Q1 2022. Nevertheless, the conglomerate began divesting its position just three quarters later and culminated this process in Q2 2023 by selling off all remaining shares. This move marked Berkshire Hathaway’s exit from the healthcare sector, indicating a shift in Buffett’s investment strategy.
General Motors Co. (GM): Reduced Position by 45%
Berkshire Hathaway continued its gradual reduction of holdings in legacy automaker General Motors Co., a value stock traditionally favored by Buffett. The conglomerate first invested in GM in Q1 2012, but it has steadily reduced its GM holdings since Q2 2022. In the most recent quarter, Berkshire Hathaway sold 18 million GM shares, decreasing its stake by 45%. Currently, the firm retains 22 million GM shares, with an estimated value of $848.3 million.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. (MMC): Complete Divestment
Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in insurance broker Marsh & McLennan has concluded. Although the conglomerate initially entered the MMC market in Q4 2020, it began trimming its position in Q2 2021 and has continued to do so. In the most recent quarter, Berkshire Hathaway sold all remaining 404,911 shares of MMC, fully exiting the position. This marks the end of its involvement with the insurance brokerage.
Vitesse Energy Inc. (VTS): Complete Divestment
Vitesse Energy Inc., a smaller oil and gas company founded in 2022, has been divested from Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio. The firm presumably acquired VTS shares when it was spun off from its parent company, Jefferies Financial Group Inc., in January 2023. However, Berkshire Hathaway opted to completely exit its position in VTS by selling all 51,026 shares during Q2 2023.
What Buffett’s Stock Sale Means for the Market
That answer depends on whether you follow the Oracle from Omaha’s investments or not. If you do, you might consider shifting your investments as he did. Perhaps it means you even consider reducing some risk. However, as Buffett has said in the past, the best time frame to hold a stock is “forever” — so you likely wouldn’t want to sell all or even most of your long term investments if you’re a true Buffett disciple. That said, if you aren’t a close follower of Warren Buffett, this sale likely has little impact on the market.
Since these sales were depicted in his recent filing, these sales have already happened, and their toll on the market has already been felt. In fact, we don’t know what Buffett’s most recent moves have been — investments that took place over the past month, for instance, will remain a mystery until the next 13-F filing comes out. Essentially, Buffett did what most investors do: he bought a few things, sold a few more things, picked stocks that he feels will improve over time, and generated cash from stocks that he felt had less to offer.