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5 Surprising Investing Moves Buffett Made as Stocks Fell

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  • (0:45) - What To Learn From The Q4 13F Filing: Berkshire Hathaway
  • (3:00) - Selling of Apples Shares
  • (6:30) - International Stock Purchases 
  • (13:10) - Financial Holdings and Addition of GM Stock
  • (19:45) - Episode Roundup:  AAPL, STNE, YY, BAC, JPM, PNC, GM, GE, SU

Welcome to Episode #130 of the Value Investor Podcast

Every week, Tracey Ryniec, the editor of Zacks Value Investor portfolio service, shares some of her top value investing tips and stock picks.

As everyone knows, the end of 2018 was rough on stock investors. It was the largest sell-off in over 5 years.

But that also means it brought a buying opportunity for those who had the guts to jump in and buy their favorite names on sale.

But what about the most famous value investor of them all?

Was Warren Buffett buying stocks in his Berkshire Hathaway portfolio in the fourth quarter?

The 13-F filings are now in and there are some surprising results in Berkshire’s filing.

First Surprise: Selling Some Apple Shares

Warren Buffett has had a love affair with Apple (AAPL - Free Report) for the past few quarters. It’s now the largest holding in Berkshire’s portfolio.

Then why’d he sell some in the fourth quarter?

Second Surprise: Buying a BRIC Stock

US stocks weren’t the only ones to sell off in 2018. The BRIC stock markets were weak too and that sent many foreign companies that traded on the US exchanges lower as well.

Brazil’s StoneCo (STNE - Free Report) fell 46% while China’s YY (YY - Free Report) was trading with a forward P/E under 8 by the end of 2018.

Did Berkshire Hathaway finally dive into some of the cheap BRIC social media and technology stocks?

Third Surprise: Buying More Banks?

Buffett has always been a big buyer of the financials. Going into the fourth quarter, Berkshire Hathaway already owned shares in seven of the ten largest US banks.

Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) is his largest banking position, as it makes up 12% of Berkshire’s portfolio.

Did he add more?

Did he buy any new financials?

Fourth Surprise: The Beaten Down Big Caps

General Motors (GM - Free Report) has been dirt cheap for over a year.

General Electric had sunk to multi-decade lows.

But both had been featured on prior podcasts as value traps given that their earnings were on the decline.

Did Berkshire jump in on either of these cheap big caps?

Fifth Surprise: Were Energy Stocks a Bargain?

With crude’s sharp plunge in the fourth quarter, many of the energy stocks lost 50% or more.

Energy insiders bought shares in droves as their stocks plunged. Usually, that’s a sign they thought the selling was overdone.

Did Warren Buffett and Berkshire follow suit?

If you’re a fan of Warren Buffett, you won’t want to miss this podcast.

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