Buffett, Berkshire Make Big Q1 Changes

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cut back on several equity positions and eliminated others altogether in the first quarter, with one of the biggest moves being its sale of  a billion or so dollars of Kraft shares.

CNBC reports that Berkshire slashed its Kraft holdings by 22.8% in the first quarter, during which Buffett was critical of the food giant’s deal to acquire Cadbury. Berkshire, which remains the largest holder of Kraft shares, also cut back on its holdings of such big firms as Johnson & Johnson, ConocoPhillips, Costco, and Moody’s, and eliminated positions in Sun Trust Banks, Travelers, United Health, and WellPoint, according to CNBC.

Berkshire has been raising money to finance its acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, CNBC says, and the value of its U.S. stock portfolio fell by about 12% during the quarter after all of its moves. But Buffett’s firm did do some buying, acquiring more shares of Becton, Dickinson & Co., Iron Mountain, and Republic Services.

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