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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Hikes DIRECTV Stake By $738M, Cuts J&J By $545M

Warren Buffett
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Warren Buffett

More DIRECTV, less Johnson & Johnson.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reports today it owned 20,348,400 million shares of DIRECTV as of December 31, the end of the fourth quarter.

That's up 379 percent from the 4.2 million shares it reported owning as of the end of Q3.

At today's closing price of $45.85, the increased shares are worth just over $738 million dollars and the total stake is valued at $932.97 million.

Berkshire's reported Wells Fargo stake increased by 6 percent to 383,703,628 million shares. The added stock is worth $679 million at today's close. Total stake: $11.67 billion.

Berkshire also discloses a sizable decrease in its Johnson & Johnson holdings. They fell by 8.4 million shares, or 23 percent, to 29,018,127 shares. The eliminated portion of the stake would be worth $544.6 million at today's close. Value of the remaining stake is $1.87 billion.

The 13-F filing with the SEC also shows two new holdings: 1.7 million shares of Liberty Media (Capital), worth $145 million at today's close, and 2.7 million shares of DaVita, worth $227 million.

Based on the relatively small size of those new stakes they are almost certainly the work of Todd Combs, the Berkshire portfolio manager who was hired in the fall of 2010.

Tonight's filing shows Berkshire owned 63,905,931 shares of IBM shares at the end of Q4. They weren't included in the Q3 list, but we already knew Berkshire had purchased them because Buffett told us in a November 14 live interview (transcript) on CNBC's Squawk Box. (You may remember that Buffett initially teased the Squawkers by telling them he had been buying "Harold.")

Berkshire also eliminated its 421 thousand share stake in ExxonMobil. It would be worth only $35.7 million at today's close.

Here are other relatively small portfolio changes:

INCREASED STAKES

  • General Dynamics : Added 812,700 shares (+27%), worth $57.0 million at the close.

  • CVS Caremark: Added 1,445,500 shares (+26%), worth $62.7 million at the close.

  • Visa: Added 573,000 shares (+25%), worth $66.1 million at the close.

  • Intel: Added 2,162,000 shares (+23%), worth $57.9 million at the close.

DECREASED STAKES

  • Kraft Foods : Dropped 2,711,995 shares (-3%), worth $104.4 million at the close. (That brings Berkshire's holdings to 87,034,713 shares, just below 5 percent of Kraft's shares outstanding. Value of remaining stake: $3.35 billion.)

  • Verisk Analytics: Dropped 757,221 shares (-18%), worth $30.8 million at the close.

No mention in tonight's filing of any "confidential holdings."

At today's closing prices, the entire portfolio is worth $69.0 billion.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

Class B:

Class A:

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