Warren Buffett Boosts Burlington Northern Stake .. Again


In a filing with the SEC late today (Friday) reported first by CNBC, Berkshire Hathaway reveals that as the stock price of Burlington Northern fell in recent days, Warren Buffett was adding to his stake in the freight railroad.

Berkshire says it bought 500,700 shares on Wednesday at $78.96 each and another 900,800 shares at $76.50 yesterday.

The close yesterday of $77.87 was the lowest for Burlington since March, but Buffett missed the best price of the day. Burlington fell as far as $73.86 during a session that saw stocks fall very sharply and then recover late in the day. Burlington shares haven't been that low since January. Still, it looks like great timing in light of today's move higher.

Today (Friday), Burlington Northern rallied by 2.2% to $79.56 on an up day for the overall market. Current price:

The new additions total just over 1.4 million shares, bringing Buffett's total stake to 42 million shares, about 11.9% of the railroad's outstanding shares.

Earlier this month, on August 7, Berkshire said it had bought a total of 1.62 million additional shares in the preceding days at prices ranging between $79.45 and $80.40.

That news sparked a rally in Burlington Northern and other rail stocks, as other investors followed Buffett's lead. We'll see if that happens again Monday morning.

Berkshire first revealed back in April that it had a 39 million share stake.

Buffett is required to reveal his purchases by the SEC because he owns more than 10% of Burlington's stock.


The New York Times has a piece by Jeff Zeleny "On the Trial" focusing on how Mr. Buffett is not giving any hints on whether he prefers Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for the Democratic ticket in 2008. It recounts how Warren kept smiling as Obama was asked 'Why you and not Hillary?' at the Omaha fundraiser Buffett held for the Illinois Senator. (You can read Becky Quick's real-time dispatches from that event in this WBW post.) And it notes that rather than having to decide on his own, Buffett's decision may be made for him in the early primaries.

Questions? Comments? Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com