In what appears to be a bet consumers will stick with discount retailers even after the economy rebounds, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increased its Wal-Mart holdings by almost 90 percent during the summer.
It added almost 18 million shares, currently worth almost $1 billion, in the third quarter.
An SEC filing detailing Berkshire's stock holdings as of September 30 shows its Wal-Mart stake going to 37.84 million shares, up from 19.9 million shares as of June 30.
At today's closing price of $53.56, Berkshire's Wal-Mart stake is worth just over $2 billion. That's less than one percent of Wal-Mart's total market value of about $205 billion.
Berkshire's filing also reveals a new stake of 3.4 million shares in the ADRs of Nestle. It's valued at $161 million as of today's close.
Berkshire also added a new, relatively small stake, in ExxonMobil . It held almost 1.3 million shares, currently worth about $95 million, as of September 30. A smaller stake of 854,490 shares as of June 30 was also revealed in a separate filing today. It was not included three months ago in Berkshire's original filing for the second quarter.
That filing, like today's, said some "confidential information has been omitted" from the public report, but had been "filed separately" with the SEC.
Among the other changes:
The total market value of Berkshire's U.S. stock portfolio increased to $56.55 billion as of September 30. That's 15.5 percent higher than June 30's $48.95 billion.
The portfolio is valued at almost $60.7 billion based on today's closing prices, excluding the stakes in Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific that Buffett says have been sold to "facilitate" Berkshire's planned acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe. That deal was announced on November 3.
CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker has been updated with the information in today's SEC filing.
Here are the details from tonight's Berkshire Hathaway portfolio snapshot as of September 30, 2009, compared to the filing for June 30, 2009:
Current Berkshire stock prices:
General Electric is CNBC's corporate parent.
Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org