Warren Buffett buys ConocoPhillips, GE and UPS, sells Mueller Industries

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May 16, 2006
We reported before that Berkshire Hathaway Inc., billionaire Warren Buffett's investment company, bought $1.53 billion of stocks, and sold $826 million of stocks during the first quarter of 2006. Today Berkshire disclosed stakes in ConocoPhillips (COP, Financial), General Electric Co. (GE, Financial) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS, Financial) as part of regulatory filings detailing the company's $45.8 billion stock portfolio.

Berkshire's purchase of ConocoPhillips started in the fourth quarter of last year, it had sought confidential status for its investment in the company. Berkshire held 9.6 million shares of ConocoPhillips, worth about $559 million, on Dec. 31. It nearly doubled that investment by March 31 when it held 17.9 million shares worth about $1.1 billion.

Berkshire's GE and UPS investments were made during the first quarter of this year. As of March 31, the company held 7.8 million shares of GE worth about $270 million and 1.43 million shares of UPS worth about $113.5 million. In addition to these new purchases, Berkshire added 3.3 million shares of Wells Fargo & Co. to the 56.4 million shares it already held. Berkshire also added 564,800 shares of the American Standard Companies to the 10.5 million shares it held in December.

Berkshire sold out its position in Mueller Industries (MLI, Financial). It held 784,500 share of Mueller Industries on Dec. 31, 2005. It also sold some of its shares in H&R Block Inc. (HRB), Home Depot Inc.(HD), Iron Mountain Inc. (IRM), Lexmark International Inc.(LXK), Sealed Air Corp (SEE). and the Servicemaster Co.(SVM).

During the previous quarter Warren Buffett bought large stakes in Wal-Mart (WMT), Anheuser-Busch (BUD), and Wells-Fargo (WFC). Since his purchases, both the prices of Wal-Mart and Anheuser-Busch drifted down slightly.