Before he turned 93 years old on Wednesday, Warren Buffett had made several astute decisions in the last 12 months which helped his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway reach an all-time peak. Buffett’s sharp mind and his astute investment skills have dazzled many of those who follow him. Berkshire was able to reach a new high and record operating profits thanks to his active involvement. This is a summary of Buffett’s major moves over the past quarter. Buffett’s cash hoard reached nearly $150 billion by the end of second quarter. In contrast to previous years, where an excess of cash was a waste of time, Buffett has been able to earn a substantial return by buying short-term Treasury Bills over the last year. The investing guru revealed recently that he has been purchasing $10 billion in 3-month and 6 month T-bills each week at government auctions. Berkshire is presumably rolling over its maturing bills by purchasing new ones. Buffett said he would continue to buy Treasuries each week, despite Fitch downgrading the U.S.’s credit rating. “Berkshire purchased $10 billion of U.S. Treasurys on Monday. This Monday, we bought $10 billion of Treasurys. Buffett told CNBC that the only question left for next Monday will be whether we buy $10 billion of 3-month or 6-month T-bills. Buffett has recently increased his stakes in Japanese trading houses Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Sumitomo to over 8.5%. Buffett traveled to Japan for the first time in over 11 years to meet with these firm heads. Chamath Palihapitiya, a Social Capital analyst, praised Buffett after analyzing the latest bet he made on Japan. He called Buffett the “greatest of all time”. The technology investor stated that the five Japanese trading firms Buffett invested into were good investments, as they paid stable dividends, boosted their earnings and Buffett hedged currency risk by buying Japanese debt. Palihapitiya said that it was inspiring to see people act so intelligently and at such a large scale. Buffett has also continued to buy the dips in Occidental Petroleum, and now owns a quarter. The spree was prompted by Occidental’s shares pulling back from a stellar performance in 2022. Stocks are down 1% by 2023, after a year of 117% gains. It was the top performer on the S & P 500 in 2022. Occidental was founded by the legendary oilman Armand Hammer and is now Berkshire’s sixth largest equity holding. Buffett has said that he does not intend to take full control of this energy company. Buffett revealed in the past that he began buying stock after reading Occidental’s Annual Report and gaining confidence about the company’s leadership and growth. Bet on homebuilders Conglomerate bought shares in a few homebuilders during the last quarter, including D.R. Horton, NVR and Lennar are among the homebuilders that Buffett has invested in. The stakes were relatively small, and could have been bought by Todd Combs or Ted Weschler who each oversee $15 billion. This bet is made at a time when the housing market has been booming despite rising mortgage rates. Buffett’s conglomerate has a long history in the homebuilding business. Berkshire purchased Clayton Homes for $1.7 billion 20 years ago. It also owns Benjamin Moore, a paint company. Buffett’s energy and utility division Berkshire Hathaway Energy will purchase a 50% share in Cove Point liquefied gas facility in exchange for $3.3 billion. The deal is seen as a bet by the conglomerate to invest in energy infrastructure, since it will gain control of one the few functional LNG exporting facilities in the U.S.
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