Shares of big pharma were getting a bit of a buzz on Tuesday following disclosure from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway that the Oracle of Omaha has been scooping up shares of the likes of Abbvie (ABBV) - Get AbbVie, Inc. Report, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report, Merck (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report and Pfizer (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report - all companies working on Covid-19 vaccines or treatments.
In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it took new stakes in Merck and Pfizer during the third quarter, while also adding bets on AbbVie and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Berkshire made the big-pharma additions months ahead of disclosures from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine candidate shows promising results at protecting people against Covid-19. Merck has also been pushing ahead with therapies for the virus.
Berkshire's bets on big pharma came at the expense of ongoing cuts to its stakes in banks, including Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report, according to the filing. Berkshire owned about 127 million shares of Wells Fargo at the end of September, - a marked shift for an investment that once ranked as Berkshire’s biggest.