Buffett Doubles Down On Israeli Drug Maker
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has more than doubled its investment in Israel-based generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and confirmed it has become Apple’s second-largest shareholder.
Berkshire said it owned about 40.5 million Teva American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) worth about $US693 million as of March 31, up from 18.9 million ADRs at the end of 2017.
And yet Teva isn’t a big deal in terms of its size viv a viz the Berkshire investment portfolio - the March 31 holding of Teva ADRs was worth $US692 million or just 0.36% of the portfolio of just over $US188 billion (http://warrenbuffettstockportfolio.com).
The disclosures were contained in the quarterly fund manager’s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission detailing Berkshire’s US-listed stock holdings as of March 31.
Berkshire said it boosted its Apple stake to about 239.567 million shares worth more than $US40 billion as of March 31, up from 165.3 million shares three months earlier.
The March 31 stake was worth more than $US44.6 billion this week.
That’s equal to more than 21% of the entire portfolio which was valued at $US188.9 billion at March 31. Apple shares are up 20% in the past year, the S&P 500 is up around 13% and the Dow has gained around 18%. Berkshire Hathaway shares are up nearly 22% in the past year.
Year to date in 2018 though the shares are down 0.47%. Apple shares are up more than 10% and none of that has rubbed off on Berkshire.
Buffett revealed Berkshire had bought another 74 million Apple shares news two weeks ago ahead of the Berkshire annual meeting on May 5.
Berkshire sold all its remaining IBM shares in the March quarter. The December 31 filing revealed it owned $314 million worth of IBM shares.
Berkshire also trimmed its holdings in General Motors. The stake is down to around $US1.8 billion from $US2 billion.
Wells Fargo remains second in ranking with $US23.9 billion worth of shares (456.5 million) or just over 12,6% of the portfolio. Bank America was third with 679 million shares worth $US20.36 billion or 10.77% of the portfolio.
Kraft Heinz was 4th with a holding of 325.6 million shares worth $US20.28 billion ad Coca Cola was 5th with 400 million shares worth $US17.37 million. Buffett’s other co-called pillar stock, American Express was 6th with 151.6 million shares worth $14.14 billion.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.