Gates Foundation Raises Stakes in KO, MCD

CNBC.com with Wires
Tuesday, 17 Feb 2009 | 9:34 AM ET

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday increased its share stake in heavyweights like Coca Cola, McDonald's and Autonation.

The foundation, which focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty, upped its stake in Coca-Cola to 5.7 million shares from 2.7 million, and added a 1 million share stake in Coca-Cola Enterprises .

It also raised its stakes in fast-food giant McDonald's to 6.4 million shares from 4.9 million shares, and auto retailer Autonation to 10.2 million shares as of December 31, 2008, from 7.7 million shares as of September 30, 2008, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The energy sector looked attractive to the foundation as it took a 500,000 share stake in Peabody Energy .

And like most other investors, it shunned financials. The Seattle-based foundation dissolved its stake in AIG and Washington Mutual .

It also dumped shares of Archer Daniels Midland and railroad company Norfolk Southern .

The value of Gates' investments fell by $3 billion, or almost 20 percent, in the fourth quarter as the worst financial crisis in decades and a deepening recession hammered stock prices.

Total investment for the foundation was down to $9.07 billion, as of December 31, 2008 from $11.20 billion as of September 30, 2008.

-- Reported by Reuters, written by CNBC.com

  Price   Change %Change


Contact U.S. News


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • CNBC's David Faber and Carl Icahn, chairman, Icahn Enterprises, discuss corporate boards, a dysfunctional system, his impact as an activist investor and why what he does is important, as well as the use of poison pills to fend off activists. He also finds himself in the unusual position of defending Bill Ackman's recent efforts to partner with Valeant and acquire Allergan.

  • Discussing new technology in the Permian, growing market in North America, and higher earnings, with Dave Lesar, Halliburton chairman, president and CEO.

  • Paul Raines, GameStop CEO, discusses how its leadership in digital sales, market share, and ability to drive loyalty with rewards propels consumers to stay with the gaming store.