Buffett and team bet on oil, shed consumer stocks in second-quarter
(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway made two substantial bets on the oil business in the second quarter.
The famed money manager also cut three of his firm's biggest holdings sharply in the quarter that ended June 30, regulatory filings on Tuesday reveal.
Berkshire reduced its position in Procter & Gamble by nearly 20 percent, cut its stake in Kraft by a quarter and slashed its position in Johnson & Johnson by roughly two-thirds. In February, Buffett said he might sell more J&J stock, given the company's issues with product recalls.
Berkshire's big move into oil was engineered by investment managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who directed the company to accumulate more than 28 million shares of Phillips 66, a ConocoPhillips spin-off. With the big equity stake, Berkshire may now rank as one of Phillips 66's largest shareholders.
Berkshire also has a stake in ConocoPhillips of nearly 28.9 million shares, down slightly from the first quarter.
Buffett said in July that Combs and Weschler had been accumulating a position in the refiner. At the same time he revealed the portfolios they manage had been increased to $4 billion each.
Combs and Weschler also took a stake of just over 2.8 million shares in top oilfield equipment maker National Oilwell Varco, just enough to be among that stock's top 30 holders.
Berkshire deepened its bet on a Buffett favorite, Wells Fargo, raising its position by 4 percent. The investment company also raised its stake in International Business Machines Corp by 3.5 percent.
MORE ACTIVE PORTFOLIO
Berkshire's team also increased its stake in media conglomerate Viacom in the second quarter, while selling out of a relatively recent stake in chipmaker Intel.
There were a number of moves in financials as well, as Berkshire's position in payments processor Visa fell 27 percent and its stake in financial data company Verisk Analytics declined 16 percent. At the same time Berkshire raised its investment in BNY Mellon.
Other changes in the quarter included sharply increased stakes in Weschler's old favorite DaVita, a provider of dialysis, as well as in DirecTV, and a 25 percent reduction in CVS Caremark.
(Reporting By Ben Berkowitz in Boston; editing by Carol Bishopric)
- Tearful Thai PM urges protesters to take part in election
- Google bus blocked in San Francisco gentrification protest
- North Korea's "reign of terror" worries South's leader
- Chinese hackers spied on Europeans before G20 meeting: researcher
- Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media