Buffett's firm trims Apple stake, invests in drugmakers

Warren Buffett's company has trimmed its huge stake in Apple and added new investments in several drugmakers while tweaking several other holdings in its stock portfolio.

File photo: AFP

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed an update on its stock portfolio with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday. Many investors follow the company's holdings closely because of Buffett's remarkably successful record.

Berkshire said Monday that it sold off 36.3 million Apple shares during the third quarter, but the iPhone maker remained Berkshire's biggest single investment worth nearly $114 billion.

Berkshire revealed several new investments in pharmaceutical companies made during the quarter, including Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie and Pfizer. The Merck, Bristol Myers and AbbVie stakes are all worth roughly $2 billion apiece, while the Pfizer investment was smaller at roughly $140 million.

Buffett's company also picked up 2.4 million shares of T-Mobile stock.

Berkshire officials don't typically comment on these quarterly stock filings. And the document doesn't make clear which investments Buffett made. Buffett handles the biggest investments in Berkshire’s portfolio, such as Coca-Cola, Apple and Bank of America. He has said that investments of less than $1 billion are likely to be the work of Berkshire’s two other investment managers.

Berkshire added to its holdings in Bank of America, Kroger and General Motors during the quarter. Bank of America remains Berkshire's second-largest investment, worth nearly $28 billion after this latest investment.

Berkshire also detailed a new investment in Snowflake that it picked up during the cloud-based data provider's initial-public offering. Berkshire held 6.1 million shares of Snowflake at the end of the third quarter.

On the selling side, Berkshire reduced its investments in financial firms Wells Fargo and JP Morgan and sold off some of its stakes in dialysis firm DaVita and mining company Barrick Gold.

In addition to investments, the Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire owns more than 90 companies outright, including Geico insurance, BNSF railroad and a number of major utilities. The conglomerate also owns furniture, shoe, jewelry, chocolate, manufacturing, brick and underwear companies.