Gardner Russo & Gardner is continuing to grow substantially, according to the firm’s most recent 13-F filing. The document, which shows the fund’s long positions at the end of the third quarter, shows that the fund’s long portfolio has $9,412,923,000, up from $8,569,202,000 at the end of the second quarter. Nestle SA (VTX:NESN) (ETR:NESR) is still the company’s top holding, worth $984,818,000 at the end of the third quarter.

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The second-largest holding in the portfolio are its class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), which were worth $844,041,000 on September 30. The rest of the top five is populated by Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE:PM) at $832,713,000, CIE FINANCIERE RICH (OTCMKTS:CFRHF) at $681,344,000, and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) at $674,082,000.

Buying and selling at Gardner Russo & Gardner

There wasn’t much new activity at Gardner Russo & Gardner during the third quarter of the year. The fund sold five of its positions and bought into three. None of those changes was all that significant as none of the buys or sells were worth more than 0.02% of the fund’s entire long portfolio.

One of the company’s biggest additions during the period was in Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BF.A) (NYSE:BF.B). The company added 28% to its holding of the alcoholic beverage company. Gardner Russo & Gardner also added to its positions in its five biggest holdings, with a 6% increase in the size of its Nestle SA holding and a 4% increase in its Philip Morris holding during the third quarter.

The company sold 10% of its stake in several big names including The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), BP plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), but none of those sales was worth much more than $1 million.

Russo Gardner Russo performance

The third quarter of the year was clearly a time of balancing for Gardner Russo Gardner. No drastic changes of any kind were made to the company’s portfolio during the period. There have been very few moves in any direction in the third quarter, but it’s clear that little was needed.

The value of the company’s long portfolio increased by more than 9% in the three months studied, beating the less than 5% gains made by the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) by a wide margin. Strong performance in some key positions netted that increase, and there’s little need to change a formula if it’s working.