August 16, 2010 / 9:04 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Berkshire adds Fiserv, boosts J&J stakes

* 4.4 mln share stake in Fiserv

* Johnson & Johnson stake had been declining

* Becton, Nalco stakes also increase (Recasts first paragraph; adds comment, additional purchases and sales, bylines)

By Jonathan Stempel and Liana B. Baker

NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) reported a new investment in payment processor Fiserv Inc (FISV.O) and a higher stake in drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) as it boosted stock holdings amid a broad market decline.

Berkshire reported a 4.4 million-share stake in Fiserv, valued at $200.9 million as of June 30, according to a quarterly filing late Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showing its U.S.-listed holdings.

It also reported a 41.31 million share stake in Johnson & Johnson, up from 23.89 million shares three months earlier.

That followed two quarters of declines, when Berkshire was selling stocks to fund its $26.5 billion February takeover of railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

Shares of companies often rise after Berkshire reveals new investments. Fiserv shares rose about 2 percent in after-hours trading after Berkshire revealed it had taken a stake in the Brookfield, Wisconsin-based company.

Berkshire also added to its stakes in two other health care companies: syringe and medical device maker Becton Dickinson & Co (BDX.N) and French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA).

“Berkshire has been emphasizing higher quality names,” said Bill Bergman, senior equity analyst at Morningstar Inc.

“Payment processors have high returns on capital and are not as sensitive to market upheaval relative to financial services companies generally,” he added. “J&J is a stable, long-term growth company with outstanding management.”

Berkshire bought a net $1.21 billion of stocks in the quarter after selling a net $639 million in the first quarter.

But the value of Berkshire's disclosed portfolio of U.S.-listed equities fell 8.8 percent to $46.44 billion as of June 30 from $50.93 billion as of March 31. The Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX fell 11.9 percent in the quarter.

In Monday’s filing, Berkshire also reported a higher stake in water treatment services company Nalco Holding Co NLC.N, and lower stakes in oil company ConocoPhillips (COP.N), Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N, M&T Bank Corp (MTB.N) and consumer products company Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N).

Berkshire had been reducing its Kraft stake after Buffett criticized the candy maker’s purchase of rival Cadbury Plc, and lowering its Conoco stake after Buffett called it a badly-timed investment. It disclosed the lower Procter & Gamble stake in its latest quarterly report on Aug. 6.

Monday’s filing also includes investments made by Berkshire subsidiaries, including a portfolio at car insurance unit Geico Corp overseen by Lou Simpson.

Buffett has said investors should not assume all the reported investment decisions are his. He does not ordinarily explain purchases and sales revealed in quarterly SEC filings.

The 79-year-old has run Omaha, Nebraska Berkshire since 1965, transforming it from a failing textile company into a $190 billion conglomerate with about 80 businesses and tens of billions of dollars of stock and bond investments.

In Monday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Berkshire’s Class A shares closed up $80 at $115,260, and its Class B shares rose 6 cents to $76.84. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Liana B. Baker in New York. Editing by Robert MacMillan, Bernard Orr)

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