Warren Buffett's Berkshire invests in four Big Pharma companies

AbbVie, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, and Pfizer may see Buffett boost

Through his Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Warren Buffett invested in four Big Pharma companies in the third quarter, according to Berkshire's 13F filing.

More than $1.8 billion was put in AbbVie (21.2M shares), Bristol Myers Squibb (30M shares), and Merck (22.4M shares), as well as $136 million in Pfizer (3.71M shares).

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ABBV ABBVIE, INC. 116.89 +0.38 +0.33%
BMY BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB CO. 54.64 -1.89 -3.34%
MRK MERCK & CO., INC. 74.89 -4.27 -5.39%
PFE PFIZER INC. 52.40 -1.60 -2.96%

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced a promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate last week, while Moderna did the same on Monday.

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MRNA MODERNA, INC. 356.00 -12.51 -3.39%

Buffett had increasingly faced pressure this year to use his nearly $150 billion cash pile to purchase significant stakes in companies or possibly to buy an entire business.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BRK.B BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY, INC. 282.12 -0.97 -0.34%

While he has increased stakes in gold and other investments, Buffett did guide Berkshire's purchase of Dominion Energy Inc.'s midstream energy business in May. Then just two months ago, Berkshire Hathaway revealed a near $7 billion investment in five of Japan's biggest general trading companies with operations in everything from mining to real estate to food and logistics.

Berkshire also made a $250 million investment in the initial public offering for the data-warehousing company Snowflake Inc.

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SNOW SNOWFLAKE, INC. 364.78 +2.18 +0.60%

But none of these 2020 investments had risen to the "elephant" scale, Buffett's term for a big buy, relative to the conglomerate's size and available cash.

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Berkshire owns more than 90 companies, including Geico insurance and utility, furniture, manufacturing, and jewelry businesses.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate also has major investments in such companies as American Express, Moody’s and Coca-Cola.