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Buffett Ups Chevron, Apple Holdings, Adds 8 Stakes in Q1

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Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett
Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett Getty Images

Warren Buffett finally returned to the bull camp during the first quarter of 2022. So says Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) 13F, which was filed Monday afternoon and revealed that Buffett's collection of stocks actually grew in number during the first three months of 2022.

That was a refreshing change for Buffett followers, who watched the Oracle of Omaha and his team act as net sellers during all four quarters of 2021.

Berkshire's 13F showed the holding company spent $41.5 billion in net stock purchases in the first quarter – the most since 2008 – putting nearly 30% of its huge cash pile to work in equities over the three-month period. This included Buffett entering eight new positions and increasing stakes in seven other stocks.

Buffett and his team clearly used a market dip as a chance to return to buying in 2022, with the S&P 500 down as much as 13% from its all-time high at one point during the quarter. But, as we noted recently, rising inflation drove much of the Q1 spending spree.

The Oracle of Omaha also did some selling in the first quarter, exiting three positions completely and reducing his holdings in four stocks.

Let's dig into the biggest Buffett stock adjustments made during the first quarter of 2022, based on Berkshire Hathaway's 13F filed on May 16, 2022, for the period ending March 31, 2022.

Berkshire 13F Shows HP, Citigroup Among Q1 Buffett Buys

Buffett's buying spree included topping up his stake in blue chips Apple (AAPL), which he pounced on after a three-day drop in the Dow Jones stock, buying 3.8 million shares of the tech titan. Berkshire Hathaway's position in Apple now accounts for 42.8% of the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio.

However, Buffett's bigger buys came in the energy patch, as oil prices soared – West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 33% over the three-month period. Berkshire bought an additional 120.9 million shares of Chevron (CVX), a 316% increase, and initiated a stake in Occidental Petroleum (OXY).

That wasn't Berkshire's only new position. The Oracle opened stakes in financial stocks Ally Financial (ALLY), Citigroup (C) and Markel (MKL); made a classic Buffett bet by scooping up 10.5 million shares of HP (HPQ); entered materials firm Celanese (CE) and jumped into media play Paramount Global (PARA).

Berkshire also increased its stakes in retail stocks Floor & Decor Holdings (FND) and RH (RH), as well as video game name Activision Blizzard (ATVI), motorsports firm Formula One Group (FWONK) and automaker General Motors (GM).

Buffett Drops Wells Fargo, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Buffett and his lieutenants finally exited their stake in banking giant Wells Fargo (WFC) – a position that had persisted for more than two decades. They also cut loose healthcare stocks AbbVie (ABBV) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY).

Berkshire also slashed its stake in telecommunications firm Verizon Communications (VZ) by 99%, reducing its holdings to just 1.4 million shares, or 0.02$ of the Berkshire Hathaway equity portfolio.

Rounding things out, BRK.B's 13F revealed the company reduced its holdings in real estate investment trust Store Capital (STOR) and grocery chain Kroger (KR), as well as royalties company Royalty Pharma (RPRX). The latter marks a pretty quick about-face, considering Buffett first entered that position during the third quarter of 2021.

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