Performance Analysis Of Warren Buffett's Largest Equity Holdings

by: Zvi Bar

Warren Buffett is considered one of the best long-term investors in the stock market. His company, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A), is a holding company that maintains large positions in several well-known American companies. Most of his large publicly traded investments have above-average dividends and a history of growing them over time.

Below are Warren Buffett's largest equity investments according Berkshire Hathaway's most recent 13F quarterly filing. I have included positions valued at over $2 billion, listed in size order: Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), American Express (NYSE:AXP), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Kraft Foods (KFT), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and US Bancorp (USB).

I have provided the present yield as well as their 1-week, 2012-to-date and 3-month equity performance rates.
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Most of these stocks performed exceedingly well during the fourth quarter of 2011. Within 2012, so far, the Berkshire's financials (WFC, AXP and USB) are the best performing equities.

Throughout 2011, IBM was up over 25 percent and was the strongest performing listed equity, followed by Kraft. Berkshire acquired the majority of its IBM position in the second half of 2011, and reduced his Kraft position through the year. Due to expected continued purchasing of IBM during the fourth quarter of 2011, it could become Berkshire's largest equity holding. Berkshire should provide an updated 13F later this month.

As of Berkshire's last 13F, IBM was Berkshire's second largest holding, behind Coca-Cola. KO is expected to announce a dividend increase within the coming weeks. The beverage maker is a "dividend aristocrat" that has increased its payout every year for the last 49 years.

So far in 2012, the best performing equities have been his two main banks, Wells Fargo and US Bancorp, as well as American Express, another financial stock. Berkshire also has other significant financial exposure though the multiple insurers that it wholly owns.

Many individuals may also appreciate that these companies are generally well-known. This familiarity makes it easier to access information on the businesses. Additionally, these companies tend to grow their dividends, which is something most income-oriented investors prefer.

Disclosure: This article is intended to be informative and should not be construed as personalized advice as it does not take into account your specific situation or objectives.

Disclosure: I am long KFT.