What's Warren Buffett buying? The answer appears to be not much in the first quarter of this year, although his stakes in two healthcare companies and Kraft Foods did increase somewhat.
Berkshire Hathaway's just-released disclosure of its U.S. stock portfolio holdings as of March 31 does not include any new names. (Three months ago we learned from the quarterly filing that Buffett had accumulated a sizable stake in Kraft Foods.)
Remember, however, that Berkshire sometimes receives permission to hold back information about stocks it's actively acquiring.
After steadily cutting back on its Ameriprise Financial holdings over many months, Berkshire appears to have totally eliminated the stake. This quarter's filing does not list any holdings. It reported 4.3 million shares a year ago, 2.5 million shares at the end 2007's second quarter, 1.5 million for the third quarter, and just 662-thousand at the end of the year.
- Ingersoll Rand stake increased dramatically, up 47 percent to 936,000 shares from 636,000 shares at end of Q4.
- Iron Mountain stake cut 28 percent to 3.4 million from 4.7 million shares. It had been cut by almost half at the end of the fourth quarter.
- United Health Group holdings increased by 6.7 percent to 6.4 million shares from 6.0 million last quarter.
- Wellpoint also increased. It's also up 6.7 percent, to 4.8 million shares.
- Kraft Foods stake increased 4.4 percent to 138.3 million shares from 132.4 million.
- Carmax stake increased 1.4 percent to 21.3 million shares. We first learned Berkshire had added Carmax to its portfolio in its third quarter filing from last year.
- US Bancorp stake increased 1.6 percent to 68.6 million shares.
- Sanofi Aventis stake is up just a bit, edging 0.5 percent higher to about 3.6 million shares.
- M&T Bank increased very slightly, up 0.1 percent to just over 6.7 million shares.
- Wells Fargo holdings are also up a little, gaining 0.5 percent to almost 291 million shares.
- Berkshire's Burlington Northern Santa Fe stake increased to almost 64 million shares during the quarter, but that figure was previously disclosed in January, when Buffett completed a string of purchases during the month that were revealed in SEC filings.
- Trane holdings fell less than 1 percent to about 10.9 million shares.
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