Berkshire adds Suncor, Dish stakes after boosting bets

Berkshire Hathaway reported stakes in Suncor Energy and Dish Network as billionaire chairman Warren Buffett and his deputies spent the most on stocks in a quarter since 2011.

By (Bloomberg)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 17 Aug 2013, 1:47 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:50 AM

Buffett’s firm owned 17.8 million Suncor shares on June 30, a stake valued at more than $500 million in the Calgary-based heavy-oil producer, Berkshire said today in a regulatory filing. The holding in Dish, the satellite-TV company controlled by billionaire Charles Ergen, was valued at about $23 million. Berkshire’s filing omitted some data that was reported confidentially to regulators.

The billionaire’s preference for buying stocks and businesses rather than bonds has helped his company weather a spike in interest rates this year. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s equity portfolio, which is about three times larger than its fixed-income holdings, rallied past $100 billion in the second quarter.

“His portfolio has been moving up nicely,” said David Kass, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business who has taken students to meet Buffett in Omaha.

His allocation to stocks “not only has been the right strategy until now, it’s very likely to be the right strategy going forward.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission sometimes allows companies to withhold data from the public to limit copycat investing while a firm is building or cutting a position.

Buffett’s firm requested confidential treatment in 2011 filings, as he spent more than $10 billion amassing a stake in International Business Machines Corp.Buffett’s track record of compounding shareholders’ money and plainspoken way of explaining business has made him a cult figure for investors.

Berkshire’s quarterly filings of its US stock holdings are studied by mutual funds and individuals looking for clues about his investment strategy.

Some of the recent stock purchases have been made by Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, money managers hired in the past three years to oversee a portion of the portfolio. The filing doesn’t say who is responsible for each pick. Buffett has said the larger holdings are typically his.

Berkshire said in a separate filing this month that it spent about $4.64 billion on stocks in the three months ended June 30. The last time the company bought that much was in the third quarter of 2011 when Buffett was building the IBM stake.

More news from