Berkshire sells Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble
Berkshire lowered its stake in Johnson & Johnson 54 per cent to 28.6 million shares in the three months ended December 31 and reduced its stake in Procter & Gamble by 9 per cent to 96.3 million shares.
It also disclosed a new 8.74 million share stake in water treatment services provider Nalco Holding Co, worth $100.8 million as of December 31. Nalco shares rose 6.7 per cent after-hours.
Buffett has deployed at least $11.6 billion in the last five months to buy convertible securities, preferred stock and debt issued by General Electric Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, reinsurer Swiss Re, jewelry maker Tiffany & Co and others, all yielding at least 10 per cent.
Berkshire's portfolio of US-listed equities shrank 26 per cent in the quarter to $51.87 billion from $69.89 billion.
But the company held onto 290.2 million shares of Wells Fargo & Co, although its value fell 22 per cent in the quarter to $8.55 billion, and a 151.6 million share stake in American Express Co, whose value fell 48 per cent to $2.81 billion. Berkshire's stake in US Bancorp fell 7 per cent to 67.6 million shares.
"The big story is that he's not giving up on banks and financial institutions," said Michael Yoshikami, president of YCMNET Advisors in Walnut
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