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Buffett's Berkshire Slashes Consumer Stock Holdings

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 | 4:32 PM ET
Warren Buffett
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Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway did a lot of selling this spring, slashing its holdings in a trio of consumer product companies.

Most notably, Berkshire reduced its holdings of Johnson & Johnson by almost 19 million shares to 10.3 million shares as of June 30.

That's a drop of 64 percent compared to its holdings just three months before.

The shares that were sold are worth almost $1.3 billion at the stock's current price, leaving a stake worth $708 million.

In another large cut reported in the company's 13-F filing with the SEC, Berkshire reduced its holdings of Procter & Gamble by 19 percent, or about $910 million. It held 59.6 million shares as of the end of June. They're currently worth $3.97 billion and are still one of Berkshire's biggest holdings.

Kraft Foods was also cut dramatically, with a 25 percent reduction worth $784 million. Berkshire's 58.8 million shares are now worth $2.4 billion. (Read More: Berkshire's Biggest Holdings)

Some other big names were also targeted, although the dollar amounts aren't as big.

Berkshire eliminated its 7.745 million share stake in Intel , worth over $204 million.

It almost entirely got rid of its relatively small Ingersoll-Rand holding, chopping it by 97 percent, or around $28 million.

Also cut: General Electric . That stake was reduced by 36 percent to just over 5 million shares, a drop of about $58 million.

It wasn't all selling.

Berkshire added a relatively large stake now worth about $1 billion in Phillips 66. It held 27,163,918 shares as of June 30.

National Oil Well Varco is another addition. That holding of 2.8 million shares is worth almost $216 million.

Berkshire also more than quadrupled its stake in Viacom to 6.8 million shares from 1.6 million. Those holdings are now worth about $335 million.

It also more than tripled its holdings of Bank of New York Mellon to 18.7 million shares from 5.6 million. That stake is now worth almost $290 million.

Berkshire also reported increases for DaVita, Directv, Wells Fargo, IBM , Liberty Media , and Lee Enterprises .

The total value of Berkshire's reported U.S. stock holdings slipped 1.3 percent to $74.3 billion as of June 30, compared to $75.3 billion.

The company's new filing does not say that any confidential information had been omitted.

ADDITIONAL REDUCTIONS:

United Parcel Service, down 82 percent or $89 million.

Visa, down 27 percent or $102 million.

CVS Caremark, down 25 percent or $79 million.

Verisk Analytics, down 16 percent or $17 million.

Dollar General, down 9 percent or $16 million.

US Bancorp, down 4 percent or $100 million.

ConocoPhillips, down 1 percent, or $13 million.

For more Buffett Watch updates follow alexcrippen on Twitter.

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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