Breaking Buffett: The Oracle has underperformed
Warren Buffett may be regarded as one of the greatest investors of all time, but the stocks his company holds have been not so great this quarter.
So while investors flocked Thursday morning to read the company's 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they may want to read a little further between the lines.
Of the company's top 10 holdings, an equal number are in positive and negative territory.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/b): Top Ten Equity Holdings as of Q3
|PG||Procter & Gamble||82.54||76.99||81.25||5.53||-1.56||4.6|
(Read more: Berkshire cuts Kraft Foods, Mondelez stakes)
The average performance has been a 0.73 percent gain, while individually the stocks are an average 7.7 percent off their 52-week highs, according to Bespoke.
The S&P 500's total return was 4.9 percent in the third quarter, as of the end of trading Wednesday. That's more than 4 percentage points ahead of the Berkshire Hathaway top-10 results.
(Read more: Berkshire Hathaway's 15 Biggest Stock Holdings)
Looking at the performance of the stock itself, though, paints not as poor a picture. The B-class shares have gained 4.15 percent in the quarter and are down just 2.3 percent from their 52-week high.
However, Bespoke thinks the struggles of the top holdings suggest danger ahead.
"Granted, we understand the fact that (Berkshire) is made up of a lot more than just its public equity holdings," Bespoke said. "But they do represent about a third of the stock's overall market cap, and based on the performance of them so far this quarter, it would suggest that (Berkshire's) stock has some catching up to do on the downside in the short-term."
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him @JeffCoxCNBCcom on Twitter.