Warren Buffett went wild with Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.B, $309.29) checkbook during the first quarter, scooping up equities at his fastest pace since the Great Financial Crisis.
True, it took an epically bad start to the year for stocks and the worst inflation in four decades to lure Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive back into the market.
But he’s back, and in a big way.
The Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio scooped up $41.5 billion in net stock purchases in the first quarter. That’s the most cash Buffett has splurged on equities in a quarter since 2008.
Contrast that with last year, when Berkshire was a net seller of equities in all four quarters of 2021.
In addition to spending another $3.2 billion buying back BRK.B shares and acquiring insurer Alleghany outright for $11.6 billion, Buffett and his lieutenants Ted Weschler and Todd Combs found plenty of other ways to make a serious dent in the conglomerate’s cash pile.
Among the more notable moves, Buffett deployed serious financial resources into the energy sector in Q1, taking advantage of both rising oil prices and crude’s properties as an inflation hedge. Elsewhere, Apple’s (AAPL) Q1 stock skid prompted Buffett to add about $600 million to Berkshire’s top holding.
And, of course, we all remember that Buffett bought a commanding 11.4% stake in PC and printer maker HP (HPQ).
We know what the greatest long-term investor of all time has been up to because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires investment managers with at least $100 million in assets to file a Form 13F quarterly report disclosing changes in share ownership. These documents add an important level of transparency to the stock market and give Buffett-ologists a bead on what the Berkshire chief is thinking.
When Buffett initiates a stake in some company, or adds to an existing one, investors read into that as a vote of confidence. But if he pares his holdings in a stock, it can spark investors to rethink their own investments.
Here’s the scorecard for what Warren Buffett was buying and selling during the first quarter of 2022, based on Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filed on May 16, 2022, for the period ended March 31, 2022. You can check out the entire list of Buffett stocks here, or continue reading if you’re most interested in Buffett’s most recent transactions.
And remember: Not all “Warren Buffett stocks” are actually his picks. Some of Berkshire Hathaway’s positions are handled by portfolio co-managers Weschler and Combs.
Current share prices are as of May 16, 2022. Holdings data is as of March 31, 2022. Sources: Berkshire Hathaway’s SEC Form 13F filed May 16, 2022, for the reporting period ended March 31, 2022; and WhaleWisdom.