Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B), the conglomerate led by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has a stock portfolio that contains nearly four dozen stock positions worth a total of $161.8 billion as of this writing.
However, there is tremendous variation in the size of Berkshire's stock positions. For example, Berkshire's $44,748 worth of Verizon stock would be a large investment for most people, but it represents just 0.00003% of Berkshire's portfolio and is therefore not a very significant "Buffett stock."
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With that in mind, there are 22 billion-dollar common stock positions in Berkshire's portfolio. In order from largest to smallest, here's a list of the billion-dollar "Buffett stocks," and how you can use this data.
The portfolio is top-heavy
One of the main things to notice from this data is just how top-heavy the portfolio is. While Berkshire's portfolio consists of 46 stocks, including the 22 billion-dollar positions in the chart, more than 56% of the entire portfolio's value is concentrated in just four stocks -- Kraft Heinz, Wells Fargo, Apple, and Coca-Cola.
Buffett has a clear interest in certain industries
Also notice that while there are 22 stocks in the chart, there are a couple of groups of similarly focused companies.
Berkshire's airline stocks are perhaps the most obvious example from the chart. By themselves, none of Berkshire's airline investments are large, relative to some of the portfolio's largest holdings. However, notice that Berkshire has similarly sized investments in the four largest U.S. airlines -- American, Delta, United Continental, and Southwest -- worth more than $9 billion combined.
Financials are another group well represented on the list. In addition to top Berkshire holdings Wells Fargo and American Express, you'll find three more banks and a major credit card processor among Berkshire's billion-dollar stocks. In all, banks and credit card processors make up just under $50 billion of Berkshire's stock portfolio.
There could be 23 billion-dollar positions by the time you're reading this
No discussion of Berkshire's billion-dollar stock positions would be complete without mentioning Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).
Thanks to a savvy financial crisis-era investment, Berkshire received warrants to buy 700 million shares of the bank at a deeply discounted price. To make a long story short, Bank of America recently increased its quarterly dividend to a point where Buffett said he intended to exercise the warrants. However, Bank of America's capital plan was approved just days before the end of the second quarter, so the position has not been officially reported in Berkshire's SEC filings yet.
Including Bank of America, Berkshire has 23 billion-dollar stock investments. And since 700 million shares of Bank of America are worth about $16.7 billion as of this writing, that means Berkshire's financial-sector stocks are worth nearly $67 billion altogether. In other words, it's fair to say that Berkshire's stock portfolio is highly dependent on the performance of the banking industry.
Should you buy some of these stocks and "invest like Buffett"?
I don't suggest buying or selling any stock simply because a billionaire has done the same -- even if that billionaire is named Warren Buffett. The more important lessons to learn are why Buffett likes each of these stocks and whether they fit your particular risk tolerance and investing goals. The bottom line is that while knowing what Warren Buffett owns can be a good starting point, it's still important to do your own research before buying any of the stocks on this list.
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Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), General Motors, and Goldman Sachs. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Moody's, Verizon Communications, and Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of DaVita and VeriSign and has the following options: short January 2018 $105 calls on VeriSign and short January 2018 $100 puts on VeriSign. The Motley Fool recommends American Express. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.