The continuing sell-off has given Warren Buffett a golden opportunity to buy the dip and increase the holdings at Berkshire Hathaway, putting to use the billions of dollars the company stockpiled over the last couple of years, reports Forbes. Much of the buying activity happened early in March, but over the entire first quarter of 2022 the company added 8 new positions.
Some of those acquisitions were not disclosed until May, such as 55 million shares worth about $2.6 billion of Citigroup, and 69 million shares worth roughly $1.9 billion of the media conglomerate Paramount Global—a stake that equals more than 10%. Additionally, Berkshire revealed a new $390 million stake in Ally Financial that they purchased last quarter, according to the article.
The announcements were a boon to all three companies, with Citigroup jumping 7%, Paramount surging 14%, and Ally rising almost 5%. Buffett’s company has also been busy in the energy industry: their purchase of 159 million shares of Chevron was worth about $27 billion, and a nearly $10 billion purchase bought them 143 million Occidental Petroleum shares. In two other moves that were previously disclosed, Berkshire bought 121 million shares of the mega tech giant HP (worth over $4 billion), and 64 million shares of video game creator Activision Blizzard (worth $5 billion).
The buying spree is Berkshire’s biggest in recent history and totals more than $51 billion in stocks through the end of March. But it wasn’t all intake for Berkshire in this year’s first quarter; the company also exited two big stakes, selling off all its shares in Wells Fargo—once a top holding for Buffett, which he’d owned since 1989—and reducing their holding in Verizon from 150 million shares to only 1.4 million shares, details the article.
Buffett is worth $113.3 billion and is the world’s fifth-richest person, according to Forbes, and his net worth jumped $1.5 billion as Berkshire Hathaway stock rose over 1% in the wake of the announcements.