November 14, 2014 / 10:25 PM / 5 years ago

Berkshire invests in Express Scripts, makes confidential disclosure

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc disclosed a new stake in healthcare management company Express Scripts Holding Co and shed its stake in agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co, among several changes in its stock investments during the third quarter.

In a regulatory filing, Berkshire also revealed it has disclosed confidential information about its investments to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC often allows Buffett to do this to let him amass a large investment without worrying about copycat investors. Berkshire disclosed last week that it had bought more than $2.3 billion of equity securities in the third quarter.

Berkshire bought 449,489 shares of Express Scripts in the quarter, making it among the smallest holdings in its portfolio.

Shares of Express Scripts rose 0.4 percent in after-hours trading to $78.20. Companies’ shares often rise when Berkshire reveals new investments because some investors consider it a vote of confidence by Buffett.

In contrast, Berkshire eliminated its stake in Deere, which it had originally bought two years ago.

Berkshire did not disclose what investments were made by Buffett’s portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Buffett has said he generally makes Berkshire’s larger investments such as Wells Fargo & Co and Coca-Cola Co , while Combs or Weschler, who have smaller sums to invest, make other investments, especially in sectors he is less familiar with.

Other changes to Berkshire’s stock portfolio simply adjusted already-existing positions.

Berkshire raised its share stakes in several companies including DirecTV, General Motors, MasterCard and Suncor Energy.

It also cut its share stakes in Bank of New York Mellon, ConocoPhillips, National Oilwell Varco and Phillips 66.

U.S. regulators require large investors each quarter to disclose their stock holdings, offering a window to their investment strategies.

The view is limited because investors are not required to list short positions, foreign holdings and bonds, and because it reflects the just-completed quarter.

Berkshire ended September with about $118.9 billion of equities, the vast majority of which are on U.S. exchanges.

It also owns more than 80 businesses ranging from ice cream to insurance to railroads. (Reporting by Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

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