Buffett’s Berkshire reveals big stakes in Verizon, Chevron

FILE PHOTO: Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett walks through the exhibit hall as shareholders gather to hear from the billionaire investor at Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., May 4, 2019. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Tuesday announced two major new investments, revealing an $8.6 billion stake in the phone company Verizon Communications Inc and a $4.1 billion stake in oil company Chevron Corp.

The investments were disclosed in a regulatory filing detailing Berkshire’s U.S.-listed stock holdings as of Dec. 31.

Berkshire also disclosed a new $499 million stake in the professional services company Marsh & McLennan Cos.

Tuesday’s filing signals where Buffett and his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler see value, though Buffett normally handles larger investments.

It also shows Berkshire finding ways to deploy its cash hoard, which totaled $145.7 billion as of Sept. 30, amid a five-year drought in finding large companies to buy outright.

Berkshire had begun investing in Verizon, Chevron and Marsh by last year’s third quarter, and had won U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission permission to delay revealing the stakes.

The SEC has several times over the years let Berkshire quietly build stakes in companies, helping it avoid having investors piggyback on Buffett’s wagers and drive up the companies’ stock prices before Berkshire is done buying.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio

source: reuters.com