September 28, 2023


Be INvestment Confident

Warren Buffett Has Bet $279 Billion on These 10 Stocks

There are about four dozen stocks in Berkshire Hathaway‘s (BRK.A 0.50%) (BRK.B 0.52%) closely watched stock portfolio, but it is rather top-heavy. In fact, Berkshire’s top 10 stock holdings make up 86% of the portfolio’s entire market value.

Additionally, while CEO Warren Buffett hasn’t been responsible for every stock pick in the portfolio, he has personally chosen most of the portfolio’s largest holdings. Here’s an updated look at Berkshire’s top 10 stock holdings, the current market values of each one, and which might be the Oracle of Omaha’s favorites in the current economic climate.

Apple (market value $132.0 billion)

Berkshire Hathaway first bought shares of Apple (AAPL -0.17%) in 2016 and quickly built up a rather large stake. With an average cost basis of about $38 per share, Berkshire is sitting on a 270% gain even after the recent downturn. Buffett loves the stickiness of Apple’s business, created by its ecosystem of products and services, as well as its extremely loyal customer base.

Bank of America ($32.5 billion)

Bank of America (BAC -0.79%) first became part of Berkshire’s portfolio when Buffett made a $5 billion preferred stock investment in the wake of the financial crisis. The original investment has since been converted into common stock at a huge profit and has been added to several times. Bank of America has excellent asset quality, great leadership, and consistently trades at one of the lowest valuations of the big banks.

Coca-Cola ($25.2 billion)

Coca-Cola (KO 1.46%) has been one of Buffett’s biggest long-term winners as Buffett first invested in the beverage giant in 1988, paying $1 billion for the stake. Not only has the investment grown to 25 times its original value, but Berkshire’s 400 shares of Coca-Cola now pay $704 million in dividend income to Berkshire annually.

Chevron ($22.5 billion)

One of the more recent Berkshire investments on this list, the Chevron (CVX 0.95%) stake was initiated in late 2020 but was added to significantly earlier this year. Chevron hasn’t been a massive winner yet (Berkshire is about even on its investment), but if energy prices remain elevated, this business could be a cash machine.

American Express ($21.3 billion)

Berkshire bought an 11% stake in American Express (AXP -0.59%) in the late 1990s, but thanks to share buybacks by the financial giant, Buffett and company now own over 20% of American Express. Buffett paid about $1.3 billion for the Amex shares, making it another massively successful investment.

Kraft Heinz ($12.6 billion)

Kraft Heinz (KHC 1.21%) is one of the few investments in Berkshire’s portfolio that hasn’t been successful. The stake resulted from the 2015 merger between Heinz and Kraft Foods, and by 2019, Buffett acknowledged that he had been wrong and “overpaid” for Berkshire’s shares.

Occidental Petroleum ($10.4 billion)

Berkshire Hathaway made a preferred stock investment in Occidental Petroleum (OXY 0.02%) several years ago, but Buffett’s attention has recently turned to the common stock. In just over six months, Berkshire has amassed an 18.7% stake in the oil company.

BYD Co. ($8.8 billion)

Buffett’s largest international investment is BYD (BYDD.F 0.15%), a leading electric vehicle manufacturer in China. Berkshire paid just $232 million for 8.25% of the company in 2008, making this one of Buffett’s most successful investments ever, although Buffett may feel he left money on the table; he wanted to buy 25% of BYD, but its managers wouldn’t sell that much to him.

Moody’s ($7.0 billion)

One of the top bond-rating agencies in the world, Moody’s (MCO 3.61%) is part of a near-duopoly in a very high-barrier industry. Berkshire’s stake in Moody’s came from its spin-off from Dun & Bradstreet, and although Berkshire has reduced its stake a bit over the years, it still owns over 13% of the company.

U.S. Bancorp ($6.7 billion)

One of the most profitable and rock-solid of the U.S. big banks, U.S. Bancorp (USB -4.02%) has been a part of Berkshire’s portfolio since 2006, and the stake has been added to several times since.

Which are Buffett’s favorites right now?

Apple is an obvious favorite because of the sheer size of Berkshire’s investment, and Buffett has even remarked that he’d love to own the entire company if he could. But Berkshire hasn’t added to its Apple position in some time.

Buffett’s most recent big buys have come in the energy sector as both the Chevron and Occidental positions are rather new. In fact, Berkshire has added to the Occidental Petroleum investment several times in recent months and now owns nearly 19% of the business, leading to speculation that Buffett might even try to buy the entire company. The Bank of America stake has increased in recent years as well, which is especially notable because Buffett sold large stakes in several other bank stocks while adding shares of Bank of America.

Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. American Express is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Matthew Frankel, CFP® has positions in American Express, Bank of America, and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple, BYD, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Moody’s. The Motley Fool recommends Kraft Heinz and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long January 2024 $47.50 calls on Coca-Cola, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.