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Breaking Buffett: The Oracle has underperformed

Thursday, 15 Aug 2013 | 12:03 PM ET
Warren Buffett
Lacy O'Toole | CNBC
Warren Buffett

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.

The Oracle of Omaha's holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has seen its most-owned stocks miss their marks when measured against the S&P 500, according to an analysis from Bespoke Investment Group.

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

Ticker Name Price($)
52-Week
High
Price($)
6/28/13
Price($)
8/14/13
Q3 %
Change
Distance
from 52-
Week High
Weight
Based on
Q2 Filing
WFC Wells Fargo 44.79 41.27 43.1 4.43 -3.76 21.5
KO Coca-Cola 43.43 40.11 39.53 -1.45 -8.98 18.0
IBM Int'l Business
Machines
215.90 191.11 187.53 -1.87 -13.14 14.6
AXP American Express 78.63 74.76 75.88 1.5 -3.50 12.7
PG Procter & Gamble 82.54 76.99 81.25 5.53 -1.56 4.6
WMT Wal-Mart 79.96 74.49 76.40 2.56 -4.45 4.1
USB US Bancorp 37.97 36.15 36.97 2.27 -2.63 3.2
DTV DIRECTV 67.85 61.64 61.41 -0.37 -9.49 2.6
DVA DaVita
HealthCare
131.33 120.8 114.6 -5.13 -12.74 2.0
PSX Phillips 66 70.52 58.91 58.79 -0.2 -16.63 1.8
Average 0.73 -7.69
S&P 500 1709.67 1606.28 1685.39 4.93
BRK/B Berkshire Hathaway 119.3 111.92 116.57 4.15 -2.29
Source: Bespoke Investment Group

(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.

Just one, Procter & Gamble, is outperforming the market. The biggest negative performer is DaVita HealthCare, while the best after P&G has been Wells Fargo.

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.

  Price   Change %Change
PG
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DVA
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WFC
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BRK.A
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S&P 500
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