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What Exactly Does Warren Buffett Own?

Investopedia logoInvestopedia 25-11-2015 John Edwards
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Warren Buffett owns a wide variety of businesses through his massive conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (NYSE: BRK.B). He grew the failing New England textile company into a booming enterprise with a market cap of over $330 billion as of November 2015. Berkshire Hathaway has an amazing range of businesses under its umbrella. From its core insurance companies to Dairy Queen and furniture stores, Buffett is a master at acquiring and running profitable businesses.

Buffett is also one of the most successful investors in history with his value investing style. Buffett is not trying to gain short-term bumps in stock prices with his investments. Rather, he views buying stock as acquiring an ownership interest in the business for a company. Berkshire’s 13-F filing discloses the current portfolio for the company. The following are recent major changes to the Berkshire portfolio.

Phillips 66

Berkshire Hathaway has substantially increased its holdings in Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from August 2015. Berkshire Hathaway now owns 57.9 million shares with a market value of around $5.37 billion. This represents a 10.87% interest in Phillips 66.

Phillips 66 is a major energy manufacturing and logistics company. It has five operating segments: midstream, chemicals, refining, marketing and specialties. The company has a market cap of $49 billion and pays a dividend yield of 2.43% as of November 2015.

The position is unique for Buffett, who generally shies away from companies that depend on the sale of commodities for revenue. He has said the commodity markets are volatile and do not produce anything in and of themselves. For example, oil is a mere commodity and trades based on the outlook for future demand. Oil in and of itself does not produce any income.

Buffett has invested in Phillips 66 due to a restructuring of the company. Phillips 66 was spun out of ConocoPhillips in 2012 to focus on investing in midstream assets. These midstream assets will help to move and export America's increased oil and natural gas production. Phillips 66 is also a major customer for the BNSF railroad, a Berkshire company. Phillips 66 is using rail to transport its commodities to market, as well as building pipelines and rail terminals. Berkshire has other significant investments in the energy infrastructure industry.

Charter Communications

Berkshire Hathaway also increased its holdings in Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) during the second quarter of 2015. Buffett bought around 2.5 million more shares to bring his overall position in the company to 8.5 million shares. These shares have a market value of around $1.45 billion. The shares comprise a 7.59% ownership interest in Charter.

Charter is a provider of cable TV and Internet services. The company serves 4.2 million residential customers and 4.8 million Internet customers as of 2014. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Charter is in the process of merging with Time Warner Cable. The deal is being reviewed by regulators as of November 2015.

U.S. Bancorp

Buffett also increase his position in U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) during the second quarter of 2015. Berkshire Hathaway bought an additional 1.2 million shares to bring its entire position up to 85 million shares with a market value of around $3.69 billion. Berkshire Hathaway has a 4.86% ownership interest in the company.

U.S. Bancorp has a market cap of over $75 billion with a dividend yield of 2.35% as of November 2015. The large bank offers a wide range of financial and banking products. It also has commercial and consumer lending services. Experts believe that Buffett is increasing his position in the bank because of the low default rate on its growing loan portfolio.

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