Changes to Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio in First Quarter 2015

After the market closed on May 15, 2015, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) reported its equity holdings of U.S. based companies in its SEC 13F filing for the quarter ending March 31, 2015.  This report revealed numerous changes to Berkshire’s portfolio.  The three largest were:

(1) Warren Buffett added about $400 million (3%) to his holding in International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) ($13.8 billion)

(2) Todd Combs and/or Ted Weschler added about $300 million (50%) to their position in Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP) ($900 million)

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(3) Todd Combs and/or Ted Weschler sold about $200 million (60%) of their holding in National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) ($100 million).

Berkshire also had minor additions to stakes in Deere (NYSE: DE), Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), Twenty First Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOXA), US Bancorp (NYSE: USB), and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC).

There were also minor reductions in Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), Charter Communications (NYSE: CHTR), Liberty Global (NASDAQ: LBTYA), MasterCard (NYSE: MA), Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB), Visa (NYSE: V), and Wabco (NYSE: WBC)

There were no positions that were either initiated or eliminated.

Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing for the first quarter of 2015 is available at:

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1067983/000095012315006438/xslForm13F_X01/form13fInfoTable.x

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David I Kass Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Finance Ph.D., Harvard University Robert H. Smith School of Business 4412 Van Munching Hall University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-1815 Phone: 301-405-9683 Email: dkass@rhsmith.umd.edu (link sends e-mail) Dr. David Kass has published articles in corporate finance, industrial organization, and health economics. He currently teaches Advanced Financial Management and Business Finance, and is the Faculty Champion for the Accelerated Finance Fellows. Prior to joining the faculty of the Smith School in 2004, he held senior positions with the Federal Government (Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis). Dr. Kass has recently appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, Maryland Public Television, Business News Network TV (Canada), Fox TV, American Public Media's Marketplace Radio, and WYPR Radio (Baltimore), and has been quoted on numerous occasions by Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal, where he has primarily discussed Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. He has also launched a Smith School “Warren Buffett” blog. Dr. Kass has accompanied MBA students on trips to Omaha for private meetings with Warren Buffett, and Finance Fellows to Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meetings. He is an officer of the Harvard Business School Club of Washington, DC, and is a member of the investment and budget committees of a local nonprofit organization. Dr. Kass received a Smith School “Top 15% Teaching Award” for the 2009-2010 academic year.