Warren Buffett Edges Burlington Northern Stake Higher in First Buy Since October


Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reveals in an SEC filing today that it has bought almost 30,000 additional shares of the freight railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe. While this most recent purchase is relatively small, it is Buffett's first disclosed Burlington buy since October. Since Berkshire owns a stake greater than 5 percent, it is required to disclose any increases or decreases in its holdings.

In the filing, Berkshire says it bought 29,600 sharesfor $76.55 each on Monday (January 7). Total price paid: $2,265,880.

The additional shares bring Berkshire's total stake to 60,858,418 shares, about 17.4 percent of the shares outstanding. The most recent purchasecame in October when Berkshire exercised options to buy 7.8 million shares, bringing its stake up to 17.2 percent at the time.

Monday's purchase price of $76.55 is below the roughly $80 a share Berkshire was buying in a series of buys last summer. On that day, Burlington hit an intraday low of $76.40. It hasn't been lower since August 16. It bounced back Monday to close at $79.11. Current price:

So far, Buffett's bet on Burlington hasn't been very profitable. But remember, he buys for the long-term .. years not months. It will almost certainly be quite awhile before we know for sure if Buffett and Berkshire are riding on the right railroad.

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