James Lawler Duggan/Reuters
- Verizon rose as much as 4.3% in early Wednesday trading after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway revealed a new stake in the telecom firm.
- The holding company invested $8.6 billion in Verizon stock through the quarter that ended December 31.
- Berkshire also opened positions in Chevron and Marsh & McLennan through the end of 2020.
- Watch Verizon trade live here.
The conglomerate revealed it added 147 million of Verizon’s shares to its holdings in the quarter that ended December 31, according to a 13-F filing published Tuesday. The purchase amounted to roughly $8.6 billion in stock.
Berkshire won regulatory approval to keep its three new investments private in its third quarter 13-F filing after arguing it wasn’t yet done building the positions. New investments by the holding company tend to drive share prices higher, as a bullish outlook from Buffett often attracts new investors.
Elsewhere in Berkshire’s portfolio, the firm trimmed its stakes in Apple and Wells Fargo. It fully exited its positions in JPMorgan, PNC, and M&T. Buffett boosted the company’s investments in AbbVie, Merck, and T-Mobile, among others.
Apple remains Berkshire’s biggest single investment. The firm owned roughly 908 million shares at the end of last year. The stake’s value accounts for about 44% of its entire $270 billion stock portfolio.
The new bets on Verizon and Chevron highlight Buffett’s confidence in more traditional sectors to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The legendary investor was optimistic the start of the health crisis, telling investors they should “never, ever bet against America.” While tech giants led the stock market’s initial rebound, investors have since rotated cash to value and small-cap stocks in hopes that vaccinations and new stimulus can supercharge an economic rebound.
Verizon closed at $54.15 on Tuesday, down roughly 7% year-to-date. The company has six “buy” ratings and 11 “hold” ratings from analysts.