How Warren Buffett's Largest Equity Investments Performed In 2011

by: Zvi Bar

Warren Buffett is considered one of the best long-term investors out there. His company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), is a holding company that holds several large positions in well-known American companies. Additionally, most of his 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 last 13F quarterly filing. I have only listed those positions valued at over $1 billion, listed in size order: Coca-Cola (KO), International Business Machines (IBM), Wells Fargo (WFC), American Express (AXP), Procter & Gamble (PG), Kraft Foods (KFT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), ConocoPhillips (COP) and US Bancorp (USB). I have provided each equity's present yield as well as their 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 2011 performance rates.

Performance of most of these stocks was resilient this year and through the recent sell-off. The best performing listed equity though 2011 is IBM, up over 25 percent, followed by Kraft. Wal-Mart was the only other company to be up over ten percent for 2011. Buffett acquired the majority of his IBM position in the second half of 2011, and trimmed his Kraft position through the year. IBM is now Berkshire's second largest holding, behind Coca-Cola.

Wells Fargo, Berkshire's third largest holding, is the only listed equity to be down compared to its 2011 starting price. The average full year performance of these ten holdings worked out to be a gain of 7.18%, with a 2.6% average yield. Both the average appreciation and yield of these equities beat the 2011 performance of the DJIA and S&P 500.

Many individuals may also appreciate that these companies are generally familiar. Additionally, these companies tend to grow their dividends, which is something most income-oriented investors usually appreciate. Most investors-- even if they are new to investing-- are likely familiar with several of these companies, if not all of them. This familiarity also makes it easier to understand the businesses, and allows for accessibility to information on the companies.

Disclosure: I am long KFT.

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.