Warren Buffett, the most successful investor of the 20th century and American business billionaire, philanthropist, and magnate dumped all of his holdings of ExxonMobil owned by his investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reported Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s quarterly filing detailed the conglomerate’s domestic equity investments as of Dec. 31. Berkshire’s complete liquidation of ExxonMobil was a close to a $4 billion stake in the energy giant.
When oil prices went into a slump by more than half, ExxonMobil’s shares actually outperformed many oil companies in recent months, losing only about 15 percent of their value from June through January. Nonetheless, ExxonMobil’s stock is down more than 9 percent due to the huge drop-off in worldwide oil prices.
Warren Buffett and Berkshire’s decision to dump its entire 41 million-share stake in ExxonMobil was unusual for Buffett and Berkshire because they initially invested in Exxon, the largest U.S. oil company, less than two years ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Pavel Molchanov, energy analyst for Raymond James, speculates on Warren Buffett’s decision to entirely remove Exxon from the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio.
“Warren Buffett is of course a value investor, and the fact of the matter is that Exxon shares held up extremely well during the oil price meltdown.”
The SEC filing also showed Warren Buffett’s company purchased 4.7 million shares of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in order to beef up their media holdings. Murdoch’s company formed as the result of the 2013 split of News Corp.’s mass media and publishing businesses.
Additionally, Warren Buffett and Berkshire’s SEC filing also confirms that the investor and his company increased their stake in Deere & Co. as Buffett’s firm enlarged its holdings of the agricultural and construction equipment company from 7.6 million shares to 17.1 million, worth $1.51 billion at the end of last year. On the news of Warren Buffett and Berkshire’s investment, Deere’s stock rose 1.2 percent in after-hours trading.
Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett also made the decision to purchase an 8.4 million-share stake in Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of the Tim Hortons and Burger King restaurant chains. In addition, Buffett’s team of investors added DirecTV, General Motors, IBM, Phillips 66, and Suncor Energy to name a few, while getting rid of stakes in Express Scripts and oil company ConocoPhillips.
Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway based in Omaha, Nebraska, own more than 80 businesses ranging from Geico insurance to Dairy Queen ice cream.
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