In this article, we will take a look at the 17 stocks Warren Buffett just bought and sold. To see more such companies, go directly to 5 Stocks Warren Buffett Just Bought and Sold.
Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. His net worth stands at about $120 billion as of November 21, 2023, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaires list. The Oracle of Omaha is one of the very few individuals on the Forbes’ billionaire list who made this wealth purely by investing in the stock market. But Buffett did not become the master of the game overnight. He inherited investing wisdom from his father who was a US Congressman and later a stock broker. While strong family connections did give Buffett an opportunity to raise funds in early stages of his career, he made his way up to the ranks of success by pure ability and sticking to value investing principles propended by the Benjamin Graham school of investing.
Warren Buffett’s Investment Philosophy
Every year Warren Buffett reiterates the basic principles of his investing philosophy in his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. This philosophy is dramatically simple and eventually boils down to this: Buffett likes to invest in businesses that he believes will keep growing and because of their growth and performance the Oracle of Omaha loves to own a stake in them and hold it forever. In his 2022 letter to investors Buffett said:
Over the years, I have made many mistakes. Consequently, our extensive collection of businesses currently consists of a few enterprises that have truly extraordinary economics, many that enjoy very good economic characteristics, and a large group that are marginal. Along the way, other businesses in which I have invested have died, their products unwanted by the public. Capitalism has two sides: The system creates an ever-growing pile of losers while concurrently delivering a gusher of improved goods and services. Schumpeter called this phenomenon “creative destruction.” One advantage of our publicly-traded segment is that – episodically – it becomes easy to buy pieces of wonderful businesses at wonderful prices. It’s crucial to understand that stocks often trade at truly foolish prices, both high and low. “Efficient” markets exist only in textbooks. In truth, marketable stocks and bonds are baffling, their behavior usually understandable only in retrospect.”
Warren Buffett, who had already achieved the status of a millionaire by 1962, took control of Berkshire Hathaway back in 1965 which was at that time a textile company. Today the company has a market cap of close to $800 billion, spans 40 industries and 60 companies.
Warren Buffett is a huge fan of making a few but optimal decisions instead of hyper diversifying and making many decisions. In last year’s letter to shareholders, Buffett said his company’s satisfactory performance was the product of “about a dozen truly good decisions – that would be about one every five years – and a sometimes-forgotten advantage that favors long-term investors such as Berkshire.”
Berkshire Hathaway Performance and Returns
Berkshire’s compounded annual gain from 1965 through 2022 came in at 19.8%, compared with S&P 500’s gain of 9.9% during the same period. The S&P 500 gained 24,708% between 1965 and 2022. Berkshire Hathaway on the other hand gained a whopping 3,787,464% over the same period.
For this article we scanned Warren Buffett’s Q3 portfolio and picked stocks in which he either cut stakes (completely or partially), bought new stakes or increased his existing positions during the period.
17 Stocks Warren Buffett Just Bought and Sold
17. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)
Stake Value: completely sold
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is a stock in which Warren Buffett completely sold his stakes during the third quarter of 2023. Berkshire Hathaway sold all 22 million General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) shares it had in the third quarter.
Recently, it was reported that United Auto Workers’ deal with General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), and Stellantis N.V. (NYSE:STLA) cleared its last hurdle as it got approved by the last batch of union workers.
Stake Value: completely sold
Warren Buffett’s hedge fund had about 14.7 million Activision shares during the second quarter of 2023. The fund sold all these shares in the September quarter. Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision is successfully clearing all regulatory hurdles. Last month Microsoft said it has started offers to eligible holders to exchange any and all outstanding notes issued by Activision for up to $3.65 billion of new notes and cash.
Aristotle Capital Value Equity Strategy made the following comment about Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:
“We first purchased Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), one of the largest video game companies in the world, during the second quarter of 2023. We have long appreciated the critical role Activision Blizzard’s gaming franchises play for PlayStation, Xbox and the broader gaming industry. Moreover, we believe the company is on the path toward increasing its revenue from new products that rely on in‐game transactions and advertising, as well as through further leveraging its intellectual property from consoles and PCs into mobile games. At the time of purchase, there was heightened uncertainty regarding whether regulators would approve the pending acquisition of the company by Microsoft, a current Value Equity holding. This, we believe, provided an opportunity for us to own Activision Blizzard at an attractive discount to our estimates of intrinsic value should the company remain independent. Conversely, if the transaction commenced and Activision Blizzard was indeed acquired, we would still benefit through our investment in Microsoft. As such, rather than attempting to predict regulatory approval of the transaction, we instead saw the company as an optimal investment. With the uncertainties regarding regulatory approval nearly disappearing, we decided to exit our investment.”
15. United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS)
Stake Value: completely sold
Warren Buffett’s hedge fund Berkshire had owned about 59,000 United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) shares as of the end of the second quarter of 2023. During the third quarter the fund dumped all these shares and liquidated its position in United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS). United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) has lost about 16% over the past one year.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2023, 47 hedge funds out of the 910 funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS). The most significant stakeholder of United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) was Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global which owns a $159 million stake in the company.
ClearBridge Large Cap Value Strategy made the following comment about United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:
“A higher-for-longer rate mentality taking hold was a headwind for economically sensitive stocks. Rising wages have been one of the main drivers of inflation, and this has proved to be a sticky area, keeping the Fed’s attention and weighing on share prices. For example, United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) renegotiated a wage increase for its union-backed workforce this summer, which weighed on margins that were already being constricted by slowing volumes. While the new union deal will dampen profits over the next 12 months due to the front-end-loaded nature of the new five-year contract, management gained increased flexibility to deploy automation, which we think should further enhance UPS’s strong competitive position and provide a long-term tailwind to profitability.”
14. Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ)
Stake Value: completely sold
Warren Buffett’s fund liquidated its entire stake in Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) during the third quarter of 2023, selling 578,000 shares. Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) shares have gained about 9% over the past one year. Earlier this month Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) posted third quarter results. Adjusted EPS in the quarter came in at $0.82, beating estimates by $0.04. Revenue in the period jumped about 16.4% year over year to $9.03 billion, beating estimates by $220 million.
In its Q3 earnings call, Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) talked about its guidance:
Given the strength of our Q3 and year-to-date performance, strong volume/mix momentum across our brands and overall demand resilience, we are now raising our full year outlook for both revenue and EPS. We now expect top line growth of 14% to 15% versus our original outlook of 5% to 7% and most recent outlook of 12% plus. EPS growth is also expected to be approximately 16% versus our prior outlook of 12% plus and original outlook of high single-digit. In terms of the assumptions, no change to our double-digit inflation. We also expect interest expenses of approximately $325 million for the year.
Leverage is expected to be in the mid to upper 2s range by year-end. With respect to currency, we now expect $0.15 of EPS headwinds related to ForEx impact for the year versus $0.11 in our prior outlook, of which $0.12 have been materialized already in the year-to-date. On the gum divestiture that became effective as of the beginning of October, this current outlook reflects the loss of the business for the entirety of Q4.
Read the full earnings call transcript here.
13. Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE)
Stake Value: completely sold
Warren Buffett’s hedge fund loaded up on Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) during the first quarter of 2022. Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) gained about 28% over the past one year. It seems Buffett decided to take profits on this one as Berkshire sold its entire stake in Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) during the third quarter of 2023.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2023, 30 hedge funds out of the 910 funds tracked by Insider Monkey had stakes in Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE). The biggest stakeholder of Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) after Berkshire was Harris Associates of Natixis Global Asset Management.
12. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)
Stake Value: completely sold
One of the most important stocks sold out by Berkshire Hathaway during the third quarter of 2023 was The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), as the fund sold 315,400 shares of the company, liquidating its entire stake in the company. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) stock has gained about 8% over the past one year.
In October The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) posted fiscal Q1 results. Adjusted EPS in the quarter came in at $1.83, beating estimates by $0.11. Revenue in the quarter increased by 6.1% year over year to $21.87 billion, beating estimates by $290 million.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) talked in detail about its guidance in Q3 earnings call. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) said:
“As we are just one quarter into the fiscal year, we are maintaining our guidance ranges for organic sales, core EPS growth, cash productivity, and cash return to share owners, with each solidly on track after a very strong first quarter. Guidance for organic sales is growth of 4% to 5% for the fiscal year. The range includes a normalization in underlying market growth rate that is likely to occur through calendar year ‘24 as the market laps the last wave of cost recovery pricing and as market volumes return to growth. For P&G, we expect 3 to 4 points less pricing benefit in each of the next two quarters compared to our first quarter results. On the bottom line, our outlook for fiscal ‘24 core earnings per share is 6% to 9% growth versus last fiscal year.
We’re holding the range despite the incremental $600 million after-tax headwind from foreign exchange. With now a 7-point EPS impact from FX, this outlook translates to 13% to 16% core EPS growth on a constant-currency basis. We continue to forecast adjusted free cash flow productivity of 90%. We expect to pay more than $9 billion in dividends and to repurchase $5 billion to $6 billion in common stock, combined a plan to return $14 billion to $15 billion of cash to shareowners this fiscal year. This outlook is based on current market growth rate estimates, commodity prices, and … [read the entire earnings call transcript here]”
ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Strategy made the following comment about The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) in its Q2 2023 investor letter:
“Reinforcing defensive exposure and pushing our consumer staples positioning from underweight to overweight the benchmark, we added The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), a leading consumer products company with leading franchises in a variety of stable categories, including fabric care, baby, beauty and health. It is a high-quality company with a track record of superior growth, market share gains and attractive returns on capital. It also has defensive attributes when economic conditions deteriorate. Procter & Gamble is a sustainability leader with a demonstrated commitment to addressing environmental and social objectives in how it manages the business, and it has above-average corporate governance practices. Many Procter & Gamble products have a positive impact by promoting hygiene, self-care or health.”
11. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Stake Value: completely sold
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) was a surprising sell from Warren Buffett’s portfolio during the third quarter. As of the end of the second quarter of this year Berkshire had reported owning 327,100 shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). All these shares were sold by the fund during the third quarter.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)’s MedTech unit recently said it is seeking FDA clearance in 2024 to begin U.S. clinical trials for its Ottava robotic surgical system.
ClearBridge Large Cap Value Strategy made the following comment about Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:
“The health care space provided some opportunities in the quarter, as we increased our exposure to medical device company Becton, Dickinson as well as large cap pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). Johnson & Johnson recently spun out its consumer health care business, becoming a more focused yet broadly diversified pharmaceutical and medtech company.”
10. Atlanta Braves Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BATRA)
Stake Value: $7,990,835
Warren Buffett’s hedge fund Berkshire opened a new position in League baseball club company Atlanta Braves Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BATRA) in the third quarter of 2023. The total worth of this position was about $8 million. Atlanta Braves Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BATRA) shares have gained about 8% over the past one year.
Earlier this month Atlanta Braves Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BATRA) posted third quarter results. Adjusted EPS in the period came in at -$0.10. Revenue in the quarter jumped about 11% year over year to $272 million, beating estimates by $3.2 million.
9. Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI)
Stake Value: $43,768,172
Warren Buffett’s fund bought 9.6 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) shares during the third quarter of 2023. The total value of these shares was about $44 million. Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) is one of the biggest broadcasting and radio companies in the US.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2023, 19 hedge funds had stakes in Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), as per Insider Monkey’s database.
8. Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL)
Stake Value: $90,356,152 (Sold 66% Stake in Q3)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake in American financial services company Globe Life Inc. (NYSE:GL) by 66% in the third quarter of 2023, ending the period with a $90 million stake in the company.
7. Liberty Live Group (NASDAQ:LLYVA)
Stake Value: $161,257,223
Liberty Live Group (NASDAQ:LLYVA) was a new arrival on Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio in the second quarter of 2023. The fund bought $161 million stake in Liberty Live Group (NASDAQ:LLYVA) in the period.
Here is what Weitz Multi Cap Equity Fund has to say about The Liberty SiriusXM Group (NASDAQ:LSXMA) in its Q3 2023 investor letter:
“Liberty SiriusXM (NASDAQ:LSXMA) successfully separated its holdings of satellite radio provider SiriusXM Holdings, Inc. and live entertainment / ticketing leader Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., into distinct tracking stocks. Liberty management later proposed an outright combination with SiriusXM, whereby all shareholders would own shares directly in the newly combined entity. If such a deal is made, it would collapse the tracking stock structure which historically traded below its mark-to-market value. Shares of Black Knight, Inc. rallied when the Federal Trade Commission withdrew its opposition to the company’s business combination with Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. We sold our remaining shares as the price approached the proposed deal value.”
6. Markel Group Inc. (NYSE:MKL)
Stake Value: $233,706,251 (Sold over 60% stake in Q3)
Insurance services company Markel Group Inc. (NYSE:MKL) ranks 6th in our list of the stocks sold by Warren Buffett during the third quarter. Berkshire cut its stake in Markel Group Inc. (NYSE:MKL) by a whopping 66% in the period, ending the September quarter with a $234 million stake.
Polen Global SMID Company Growth Strategy made the following comment about Markel Group Inc. (NYSE:MKL) in its second quarter 2023 investor letter:
“Markel Group Inc. (NYSE:MKL) is a U.S. headquartered insurance company with three drivers; specialty insurance; public investments; and private companies. The company is often described as a “mini-Berkshire Hathaway” and has done a terrific job for decades underwriting policies and investing the float to produce significant returns, in our belief. The company seeks market leadership in each pursuit, understanding the customer needs and providing quality products and services. We think its valuation is very attractive and expect a mid-teens rate of return over the next five years.”
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Disclosure: None. 17 Stocks Warren Buffett Just Bought and Sold is originally published on Insider Monkey.