Buffett's Berkshire Builds Verizon Stake, No IBM Buying Spree

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) disclosed on Thursday it had taken an over 11 million share stake in Verizon (VZ) worth over $500 million. The conglomerate added marginally to its investment in IBM (IBM), amid the IT services giant's struggles.

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Berkshire said in a 13-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it bought 11 million Verizon shares and 7.35 million Liberty Global Class C (LBTYK) shares in the first quarter, two new positions and likely investments made by the conglomerate's rising stars Ted Weschler and Todd Combs.

IBM was the only company where Berkshire added to its so-called big four stock investments, which also include Wells Fargo (WFC), Coca-Cola (KO) and American Express (AXP). However, Berkshire's buying was limited to just 233,100 new shares, less than 1% of the company's overall investment in IBM. Other additions included Davita Healthcare Partners (DVA), US Bancorp (USB) and Liberty Global (LBTYA).

Berkshire also added to its investment in Wal-Mart and trimmed its investment in General Motors (GM), Phillips 66 (PSX), Starz (STRZA), and DirecTV (DTV). The company didn't close any investment positions in the quarter.

Berkshire Earnings

Earlier in May, Berkshire reported a 5% drop in its operating earnings to $3.5 billion as insurance margins at the Warren Buffett-conglomerate dropped, crimping profits.

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