Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway remains on the hunt for its next big transaction but in the meantime, he's sitting on a big heap of cash.
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Berkshire made several tweaks to its portfolio during the third quarter, including initiating a $206 million stake in the luxury furniture maker Restoration Hardware and a $332 million position in the energy explorer Occidental Petroleum, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released Friday. The conglomerate also reduced its stakes in the tech giant Apple, Wells Fargo and energy company Phillips 66.
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|WFC||WELLS FARGO & COMPANY||54.37||+1.14||+2.14%|
The transactions, however, failed to put a dent in Berkshire’s cash pile, which swelled to a record $128 billion at the end of the third quarter despite Buffett declaring earlier this year that he was on the lookout for an “elephant-sized transaction.” He has repeatedly said that valuations are too expensive for his liking. Buffett's $37 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts was the last big "elephant" that he bagged.
“In the years ahead, we hope to move much of our excess liquidity into businesses that Berkshire will permanently own," he wrote. "The immediate prospects for that, however, are not good: Prices are sky-high for businesses possessing decent long-term prospects."
Since then, Buffett’s cash pile has grown by about $16 billion and stock-market valuations have only gotten more expensive as the S&P 500 has rallied more than 24 percent this year touching a fresh record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq are also sitting at records.
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Berkshire has lagged behind the broader S&P 500 gaining 7.6 percent in 2019.