Buffett Buys More Apple, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, in Q2

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B, $302.82) took advantage of the market’s second-quarter swoon to add to its stakes in Apple (AAPL, $173.16), Chevron (CVX, $156.80), Occidental Petroleum (OXY, $64.34) and a handful of other stocks, but the holding company didn’t make any exciting or surprising new moves, a regulatory filing made late Monday revealed.

Chairman and CEO Buffett, along with co-portfolio managers Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, were once again net purchasers of equities during the three months ended June 30, although their pace of buying slowed considerably compared with Q1.

After subtracting sales, Berkshire spent $3.8 billion on stocks during the second quarter, down from net purchases of $41 billion in equities during the first three months of 2022. The S&P 500 lost more than 16% of its value during the second quarter. Suffice to say that Buffett and his lieutenants were once again greedy when others were fearful.

It’s also worth noting that Buffett and his subalterns’ buying stands in stark contrast to last year’s second quarter, when Berkshire was a net seller of equities. And, for good measure, Buffett also spent $1 billion buying back Berkshire Hathaway stock during Q2.

Among the notable additions, Buffett bought another 3.9 million shares in Apple, which is Berkshire’s largest position by a wide margin.

The company owned nearly 895 million shares in the iPhone maker, a stake worth $122.3 billion as of June 30. AAPL accounted for 41% of Berkshire’s portfolio value at the end of Q2. That’s down from 43% at the end of the first quarter due to a slump in Apple’s share price.

Buffett has also been aggressively adding to Berkshire’s stake in Occidental Petroleum. Berkshire bought an additional 9.6 million shares – worth about $530 million – in the integrated oil and gas firm in late June. The holding company again added to its stake in July, buying another 4.3 million OXY shares worth $250 million.

Including warrants, Berkshire owns roughly 30% of OXY’s shares outstanding. Naturally, the conglomerate’s large and growing position in OXY is fueling speculation that Buffett could be eyeing a buyout of Occidental Petroleum.

In some other notable purchases, Berkshire topped off existing stakes in Chevron, Celanese (CE, $116.22), Paramount Global (PARA, $26.55) and Ally Financial (ALLY, $35.68)

On the other side of Berkshire’s ledger, the company exited what remained of its small stake in Verizon (VZ, $45.55), the only telecommunications stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Berkshire also closed out its short-lived position in Royalty Pharma (RPRX, $43.87).

In other stock sales, Berkshire slashed its stake in Store Capital (STOR, $29.24) by more than 50%. Buffett also reduced Berkshire’s exposure to General Motors (GM, $39.40) and Kroger (KR, $47.52).

Ultimately, however, Buffett and his lieutenants had themselves a relatively quiet quarter, making mostly immaterial moves. The Berkshire Hathaway portfolio is highly concentrated, after all, with its top five holdings accounting for 75% of the total portfolio value. STOR, GM and KR don’t really move the needle here.

And so although Berkshire went on a shopping spree in Q2, it mostly consisted of bargain hunting in a few of Buffett’s favorite names. Investors looking for new stock or sector ideas based on the Oracle’s Q2 moves didn’t get much, if anything, to work with.

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