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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (8062) 

Buffett Shows Three New Holdings, Though Two Are Not

February 14, 2014 | About:

The premier investor of the current day, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio), today revealed his portfolio positioning as of the end of the fourth quarter. Buffett, now along with two managers – Ted Weschler and Todd Combs – oversees a portfolio worth $104.8 billion for insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B).

Buffett’s fourth-quarter portfolio appears to contain three new stocks, but only one is a revelation: Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ:LBTYA).

Berkshire purchased 2,948,285 shares of Liberty Global PLC in the fourth quarter, giving the position a 0.25% portfolio weight. Shares of the company cost on average $81 in the fourth quarter.


Liberty Global purchased Virgin Media Inc. for $24 billion on June 7, 2013, and began trading under a new ticker symbol. The merger made it the largest international cable company with operations in 14 countries and a $18.68 billion market cap.

Liberty Global’s stock price has gained 13% since it was re-introduced to the market, trading around $83.60 on Friday. In January, it repurchased $1 billion of its shares.

The company has a P/S ratio of 2.0 and an annual average earnings growth of 31.0% over the past 10 years.

Graham Holdings Co. (NYSE:GHC)

Buffett also shows owning 1,727,765 shares of Graham Holdings Co. (NYSE:GHC) as of the end of the fourth quarter. This position holds a 1.1% spot in the portfolio.

Graham Holdings Co. is actually the new name of a long-term Buffett holding, the Washington Post Company. The name change came when the company sold its major newspaper to Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Jeff Bezos in 2013.

Yesterday, Buffett went public with talks to possibly exit his position in the company, or work out a deal involving Graham selling a business or Berkshire Hathaway shares, in a 13-D filing. Graham released a statement on Feb. 12 saying, “As indicated in the filing, the parties are in discussions and have not reached an agreement on terms of a potential transaction, and the parties may not reach such agreement. No transaction will be consummated unless it is in the interest of both parties.”

Graham Holdings shares gained 65% in the past 12 months, to trade at $658.89 on Friday.


Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS)

Finally, Berkshire reported owning 12,631,531 shares of Goldman Sachs, a position worth 2.1% of his portfolio and 2.81% of the company’s shares outstanding.


These shares came from a crisis-era investment in the company Buffett consummated in October 2013. Buffett in 2008 purchased $5 billion in Goldman Sachs preferred shares, which came with a 10% dividend, along with warrants granting him the right to buy $5 billion in Goldman common stock at $115 per share. In October, he converted the warrants under an amended plan that gave him a smaller stake but eliminated the need to spend additional capital.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has a market cap of $74.2 billion; its shares were traded at around $163.72 with a P/E ratio of 9.80 and P/S ratio of 2.40. The dividend yield of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. stocks is 1.30%.

See more of Berkshire Hathaway’s fourth-quarter investment changes in Buffett and his managers’ portfolio here. Not a Premium Member of GuruFocus? Try it free for 7 days here!

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