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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reveals it sold about $6 billion of Chevron stock last quarter

Warren BuffettWarren Buffett.

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  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold about $6 billion of Chevron stock in the first quarter.
  • Berkshire cashed out about 35 million shares, or 20% of its stake in the oil titan, earnings show.
  • Buffett’s company may have sold shares in Taiwan Semiconductor and two US banks, one analyst said.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold an estimated $6 billion worth of Chevron stock last quarter, its earnings report revealed on Saturday.

The famed investor’s company disclosed that the value of its Chevron holdings plunged by 28% to below $22 billion in the first quarter. Chevron’s stock price only fell by around 9% during the three-month period, indicating Berkshire cut its stake.

Overall, Berkshire sold about $13 billion worth of stocks in the quarter. The cost base of its commercial, industrial, and other shares fell by $7.9 billion, suggesting the selling was concentrated in that category, which includes Chevron.

Buffett and his team slashed their Chevron stake by roughly 20% or 35 million shares, to around 163 million shares. That figure is based on the stated decline in the position’s value, and the fossil-fuel titan’s average share price of $168 in the quarter.

Multiplying 35 million shares by $168 gives a figure close to $6 billion, representing about 45% of Berkshire’s total stock sales in the period.

“During the fourth quarter, Berkshire had sold 2.4 million shares, so it makes sense that it may have continued selling,” James Shanahan, a senior equity research analyst at Edward Jones, told Insider.

However, the Berkshire chief and his team bought around $1 billion worth of Occidental Petroleum stock last quarter, suggesting they haven’t soured on the oil-and-gas sector as a whole.

“As a result, I don’t believe that Buffett was necessarily making a statement about energy stocks or energy stock valuations,” Shanahan said.

Buffett and his team may have sold more shares of Taiwan Semiconductor, BNY Mellon, and US Bancorp, the analyst said. It’s also possible they pared their stake in Activision Blizzard, following the news that UK regulators have blocked Microsoft’s acquisition of the video-game company, he added.

While Buffett specializes in snapping up bargains, he doesn’t seem to have capitalized on the current banking turmoil, which was sparked by the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March.

“In spite of the sharp selloff in many financial stocks, it doesn’t appear that Mr. Buffett has been opportunistic in the financial sector, except for accelerating purchases of Berkshire shares in March,” Shanahan said.

During Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting on Saturday, Buffett disclosed that in April, his team spent about $400 million on stocks and sold $4 billion worth. That suggests Berkshire has sold close to $29 billion of stocks on a net basis over the past seven months.

Read the original article on Business Insider