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Liquidated General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, the stock God significantly reduced his holdings of American blue chips, and also made a
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has cashed out billions of dollars by slashing its holdings in a number of US blue-chip stocks, according to the latest 13F filing.
By the end of the third quarter, Berkshire had sold all of its remaining position in General Motors (worth $780 million), up from about $8.5 billion in the previous quarter, according to the company's disclosure.
While Buffett has maintained his bets on energy stocks, he cut his stake in Chevron by 10% in the third quarter, sold a small stake in UPS (59,400 shares), and cut his stake in Hewlett-Packard by 15% (the value of the stake has fallen by more than $1 billion).
Berkshire also sold small positions in Johnson & Johnson (327,100 shares) and Procter & Gamble (315,400 shares), which were worth about $50 million each at the end of the second quarter. But a separate filing shows that New England Asset Management, a Berkshire asset management company run independently by Buffett, continued to hold shares in both companies at the end of September.
The selling did not stop there.
Berkshire reduced its stake in Amazon (600,000 shares), snack food maker Mondelez International (578,000 shares), and insurance companies Markel and Universal Life (1.7 million shares worth $180 million).
It also liquidated its position in Activision Blizzard and completed a merger arbitrage investment. Berkshire bet that Activision Blizzard would successfully sell itself to Microsoft, a deal that closed in early October.
Berkshire sold its remaining stake in Activision Blizzard before Microsoft completed its acquisition on Oct. 13, selling 14.7 million shares worth about $1.3 billion.
It's worth noting that many of these positions have been in Buffett's portfolio for nearly two decades, including General Motors, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
Through the continuous "sell and sell", Berkshire's net reduction in the third quarter was about $5.7 billion, and in the past year, Berkshire Hathaway's net reduction in stocks in the past year reached nearly $40 billion.
Why did Buffett turn last year's "buy buy buy" state and begin to sell stocks continuously?
The reason may be that Buffett finds short-term Treasuries, which currently yield more than 5%, more attractive. Berkshire's cash position surged to a record $157 billion at the end of September, driven by gains in interest on its cash and Treasury portfolio, as well as strong operating earnings at the hundreds of businesses it owns.
At the end of the third quarter, Berkshire Hathaway held 45 stocks, with its largest positions including Apple, Bank of America, American Express, Coca-Cola and Chevron, mainly in the technology, financial, energy, consumer, communications and other industries.
It's also worth noting that as part of its disclosure, Berkshire said it had omitted at least one of its holdings from its reports and asked the SEC to treat it confidentially.
Some media pointed out that Berkshire occasionally makes such requests when making major investments.
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