Q1 Performance Review For Warren Buffett's 5 Largest Equity Investments

Includes: AXP, IBM, KO, PG, WFC
by: Zvi Bar

Warren Buffett is considered one of the best living long-term investors. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B), the company he runs, is a large holding company that maintains a portfolio of several large positions in well-known American companies, and wholly owns many others large businesses. Some investors keep track of What Warren Buffett buys, because they believe his decisions may be successful over the long-term.

Moreover, several of Berkshire's largest publicly traded investments provide above-average dividends and also have a history of growing them over time. Nonetheless, Berkshire itself pays no dividend, instead opting to allocate that income within the holdings company.

Below is a recent performance review for Berkshire Hathaway's five largest equity investments according Berkshire Hathaway's last 13F quarterly filing: Coca-Cola (KO), International Business Machines (IBM), Wells Fargo (WFC), American Express (AXP) and Procter & Gamble (PG). Many individual investors often appreciate that these equities are generally well-known companies. This familiarity should make it easier to understand the businesses, and allow for easy access to research and information on the companies and their prospects. I have provided Berkshire's stake in each of these equities and its stake in the company, as well as their present yield and Q1/2012-to-date performance rates.


  • Equity Stake: 8.84%

  • Yield: 2.7%

  • 1-month: 6.33%

  • Q1/2012-to-date: 5.76%

  • 1-year: 10.09%

International Business Machines

  • Equity Stake: 5.42%

  • Yield: 1.6%

  • 1-month: 5.62%

  • Q1/2012-to-date: 13.47%

  • 1-year: 27.01%

Wells Fargo

  • Equity Stake: 7.29%

  • Yield: 1.6%

  • 1-month: 8.24%

  • Q1/2012-to-date: 17.96%

  • 1-year: 6.49%

American Express

  • Equity Stake: 13.02%

  • Yield: 1.4%

  • 1-month: 8.0%

  • Q1/2012-to-date: 22.66%

  • 1-year: 27.55%

Procter & Gamble

  • Equity Stake: 2.79

  • Yield: 3.1%

  • 1-month: 0.83%

  • Q1/2012-to-date: 0.75%

  • 1-year: 8.25%

Berkshire itself appreciated 6.23% during the first quarter, underperforming the S&P 500, which appreciated 12.13% since the start of 2012. See a recent performance chart for Berkshire: (Click to enlarge)
Click to enlarge
Each of Bekshire's positions in these companies is sizable, with stake valuations between about five and fourteen billion U.S. dollars. Of the listed equities above, YTD Buffett has seen the best performance out of the financial equities. Both Wells Fargo and American Express appreciated over 22% during the first quarter of 2012 the year. The financial sector was the best performing sector of the market during the quarter.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Disclaimer: 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.