Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings as of June 30 of this year have been disclosed. The new position in Warren Buffet’s portfolio that stole the headlines more than anything else was Barrick Gold. The company is “the Coca-Cola of gold miners”, i.e. a dominant player in an industry of two giants, with Newmont Corporation being Pepsi in this analogy.
Barrick is a historic move
To be clear, Buffett and his team’s move into gold mining is historic. The oracle of Omaha is not known for being a precious metal investor. The following quote illustrates how much disdain he has displayed for gold ownership in the past:
Even though shares of Barrick finished the Monday trading session up nearly 12%, almost certainly propelled by Berkshire’s disclosed ownership, the conglomerate’s position in the gold miner is small. Warren Buffett and crew own only 1.2% of Barrick, and a mere 0.3% of Berkshire’s portfolio is parked in this stock.
Apple accounts for half
What caught my attention the most instead was the company’s stake in Apple, which has increased to 5.9% in the June period. Because Apple stock has climbed some 40% in the second quarter alone, the increased stake coupled with substantially higher market value caused Berkshire’s investment in Apple to skyrocket in a mere three months.
Maybe a visual representation may help. The pie chart below shows that nearly half of Berkshire’s portfolio is now invested in Apple. This is a large increase from 36% as of the end of March. By contrast, only less than 3% of the total portfolio has been placed in other tech companies – primarily Visa and Mastercard.
Given this much demand coming from a single, deep-pocketed investor, I can only speculate that a chunk of Apple’s consistent rise in share price since March has been facilitated by Warren Buffett’s increased ownership in the Cupertino company. Barrick’s price action on Monday proved that the oracle of Omaha may, in fact, have these market-moving superpowers.
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(Disclaimers: the author may be long one or more stocks mentioned in this report. Also, the article may contain affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence editorial content. Thanks for supporting The Apple Maven)