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Here’s what Buffett said about his key holdings like Apple at the Berkshire annual meeting


Warren Buffett and Greg Abel during the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on May 4, 2024.

CNBC

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett on Saturday addressed losses tied to bets on Paramount Global, as well as his reasoning behind slashing the company’s Apple stake by 13%.

Buffett opined that trimming the company’s stake in Apple was in part due to tax reasons after the stock roared in 2023.

“It doesn’t bother me in the least to write that check and I would really hope with all that America’s done for all of you, it shouldn’t bother you that we do it,” Buffett said. “And if I’m doing it at 21% this year and we’re doing it a little higher percentage later on, I don’t think you’ll actually mind the fact that we sold a little Apple this year.”

Buffett also noted he unloaded Berkshire’s entire position in Paramount Global — and took full responsibility for the loss.

“It was 100% my decision, and we’ve sold it all and we lost quite a bit of money,” Buffett said. The firm owned 63.3 million shares of Paramount at the end of 2023 after slashing the position by roughly one-third in the fourth quarter of last year.

Here are some of the best quotes from Buffett on some of Berkshire’s top holdings.

Coca-Cola, Apple

Buffett said Apple and Coca-Cola will remain premier holdings in Berkshire’s portfolio.

“That’s the story of why we own American Express, which is a wonderful business. We own Coca-Cola, which is a wonderful business,” Buffett said. “And we own Apple, which is an even better business, and we will own, unless something really extraordinary happens, we will own Apple and American Express and Coca-Cola.”

American Express

The “Oracle of Omaha” highlighted credit card firm American Express as another favorite, noting the company’s growing position in the consumer credit sector.

“I can’t really think of a company like American Express that has a position and a credit card that is extremely strong,” Buffett said. “It has strengthened dramatically over the last 20 years for a lot of reasons.”

BYD

Buffett credited longtime partner Charlie Munger, who died in November, for his call to buy both Chinese manufacturing company BYD and wholesale retailer Costco — but wished he took a larger stake in Costco. Berkshire no longer owns a position in Costco.

“Charlie, twice, pounded the table with me and said ‘buy, buy, buy’ and BYD was one of them and Costco was the other. We bought a certain amount of Costco and bought quite a bit of BYD, but looking back, he already wasn’t as aggressive, but I should have been more aggressive in Costco,” Buffett said. “It wasn’t fatal that we weren’t but [Munger] was right big-time in both companies.”

Cash and Treasurys

Buffett told Berkshire investors on Saturday that the company’s cash stake hoard could climb to $200 billion by the end of the current quarter.

“I don’t mind at all under current conditions building the cash position. When I look at what’s available in equity markets and the composition of what’s going on in the world, we find it quite attractive,” the investor said. “Our cash and Treasury bills were $182 billion at the quarter end, and I think it’s a fair assumption that they’ll probably be at about $200 billion at the end of this quarter.”



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