2024.05.15 23:45
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Buffett's Q1 significantly reduced holdings in Apple, revealing a huge mysterious holding: a heavy position in Aon Insurance worth $6.7 billion

Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, reduced its stake in Apple in the first quarter but still considers it as its largest investment. Berkshire's total holdings are valued at $332 billion, with the top ten holdings accounting for 91.19%. In addition to Apple, American Express and Bank of America are also important holdings. Berkshire also added one new stock and increased its holdings in three other stocks

According to the disclosure from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), "Stock God" Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A.US, BRK.B.US) submitted its first quarter holding report (13F) as of March 31, 2024.

Statistics show that Berkshire Hathaway's total holding value in the first quarter reached $332 billion, compared to $352 billion in the previous quarter, a decrease of about 4.15% on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Berkshire Hathaway added 1 stock to its portfolio in the first quarter, increased holdings in 3 stocks, reduced holdings in 5 stocks, and cleared out 1 stock. The top ten holdings accounted for 91.19% of the total value.

In the top five major holdings, Apple (AAPL.US) still ranks first, with approximately 789 million shares, a holding value of about $135.4 billion, accounting for 40.81% of the investment portfolio. The number of shares held decreased significantly by 12.83% compared to the previous quarter.

In fact, earlier this month, Buffett revealed some recent changes in holdings at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. The company stated that it reduced its stake in Apple in the first quarter due to a series of challenges faced by the iPhone maker, including antitrust fines, declining sales in China, and a failed car project.

However, at the annual meeting where Apple CEO Cook was also present, Buffett still highly praised the tech giant and stated that unless there are any dramatic changes, the stock will remain Berkshire Hathaway's largest investment.

Bank of America (BAC.US) ranks second, with approximately 1.033 billion shares, a holding value of about $39.2 billion, accounting for 11.81% of the investment portfolio; American Express (AXP.US) ranks third, with approximately 152 million shares, a holding value of about $34.5 billion, accounting for 10.41% of the investment portfolio; Coca-Cola (KO.US) ranks fourth, with 400 million shares, a holding value of about $24.5 billion, accounting for 7.38% of the investment portfolio, with no change in the number of shares held compared to the previous quarter.

Chevron (CVX.US) ranks fifth, with approximately 123 million shares, a holding value of about $19.4 billion, accounting for 5.85% of the investment portfolio, a decrease of 2.47% in the number of shares held compared to the previous quarter.

Other major holdings of Berkshire Hathaway include: Occidental Petroleum (OXY.US), Kraft Heinz (KHC.US), Moody's (MCO.US), Chubb (CB.US), DaVita (DVA.US) Mysterious Holdings

The most noteworthy aspect of this holding report is that Aon is the only new addition disclosed by Berkshire Hathaway in the first quarter, with a holding market value of approximately $6.7 billion.

It is understood that Berkshire Hathaway has been increasing its stake in Aon since 2023, but it has never been reported before because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allows the company to keep it confidential. Nevertheless, another quarterly report shows that Berkshire Hathaway's equity in banks, insurance, and financial companies is growing, while the company is withdrawing from other industries including consumer goods.

David Kass, a finance professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, explained why Berkshire Hathaway wants to keep its massive positions secret, stating: "Millions of people will follow Buffett's lead. Buffett is more sensitive to this issue than others."

Following the data disclosure, Chubb's stock price surged by nearly 8% in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, is very familiar with the insurance industry and owns a range of companies including Geico and National Indemnity. The billionaire investor describes Berkshire Hathaway's property insurance business as the "core" of the conglomerate, helping to generate reinvestable "float."

The company also invests in other insurance businesses. Berkshire Hathaway holds shares in large insurance broker Aon (AON.US) and has previously held shares in competitors such as Marsh & McLennan (MMC.US).

Aon is one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the United States, operating in 54 countries worldwide. Its CEO, Evan Greenberg, is the son of Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who led American International Group (AIG.US) for many years. In 2016, Evan Greenberg created Aon through the merger of Ace Ltd. and Chubb Corp., making it a large insurance company covering a range of risks including cyber attacks and maritime.

At the end of March, a cargo ship collided with the Baltimore "Francis Scott Key" Bridge, causing the bridge to collapse, and in this incident, Aon is reported to be paying $350 million to the state of Maryland.

In addition, Berkshire Hathaway completely divested from HP Inc. (HPQ.US) in the first quarter and significantly reduced its holdings in Paramount Global Brands (PARA.US). Earlier this month, at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, Buffett took responsibility for the company's investment in Paramount Global Brands, stating that the company sold its shares at a loss From the perspective of changes in the position ratio, the top four buying targets are: MetLife, Occidental Petroleum, Liberty SiriusXM Series C (LSXMK.US), Liberty SiriusXM Series A (LSXMA.US).

The top four selling targets are: Apple, Paramount Global, HP, Sirius XM (SIRI.US).