Warren Buffett’s Biggest Stock Picks over the Past Year

Warren Buffett clearly takes the cake as far as buy and hold investor examples go. He will purchase a stock and hold on to it for years, if not decades. His methodology of owning stocks for the long haul produces incredibly large returns. If you follow Buffett’s long-term convictions, you’ll receive a great lesson in value investing.

We looked at Warren Buffett’s stock positions, going back one year, and recognize five of which he increased the size of his position substantially during that time.

Let’s take a look at the five stocks right now…

DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc.

Out of the entire group, this company carries the smallest market. It comes in under $13 billion. The company provides dialysis services. Berkshire Hathaway increased their position by 127% during 2012. They steadily increased their share size each quarter.

Warren Buffett adds substantially to his winners, and that’s precisely what he did with DaVita. The company produced huge returns during 2012, and Warren Buffett’s position gained 41% in value.

During April 2013, Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock. They believe that the business will potentially generate better earnings at a rate of nine dollars per share in cash EPS.

Andreas Halvorsen, billionaire investor from Viking Global, owns DVA shares in the amount of 1.5% of his entire portfolio worth $14.4 billion.

DirecTV

We will now shire our company spotlight on DirecTV. When 2012 began, Warren Buffett owned 23 million shares of the company. By the end of 2012, Buffett owned 34 million shares. This roughly equates to a 50% increase.

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the digital television provider to a buy during the middle of April. This upgrade is in addition to Guggenheim’s buy rating, which the company received during March 2013.

At the time of this writing, DirecTV shares rose 10% in value so far during 2013. The shares currently trade near the 52 week high. Recently, DirecTV dropped its bid to purchase Vivendi’s Brazilian unit. The move would have increased their South American and Latin presence. Shareholders recognized the bid drop as a relief. DirecTV’s share price rose 6% in value immediately following the announcement. Jim Simons, famed investor of Renaissance Technologies owns $200 million worth of DTV shares.

General Motors

Buffett continued to purchase shares of GM throughout 2012. Berkshire Hathaway’s share size grew by 150% during the previous year. In the first quarter of the prior year, Berkshire only owned 10 million shares of the automaker. By the end of 2012, their position size increased to 25 million shares.

General Motors came through with a fantastic annual return during 2012. Investors netted 37% even though sales dropped heavily during the summer.

The company plans to increase its capacity to produce vehicles. They intend to increase production to 5 million automobiles per year, and plan to open four plants in China during the next three years.

Greenlight Capital billionaire investor David Einhorn owns roughly the same amount of shares as Warren Buffett. Both investors currently own over 20 million shares each.

Liberty Media Corporation

In the entertainment industry, LMCA makes many high profile moves. It fits perfectly that Buffett chose to increase the size of his position by 87% from the first quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter. The media company sold off Starz, its premium movie channel and the business worked deals with companies such as Charter Communications, Sirius XM Radio and Barnes & Noble.

Liberty Media plans to buy a 27% stake in Charter Communications. The deal will cost $2.6 billion. But that’s not all, as the company may have further interest in mergers and acquisitions.

James Dinan, billionaire investor of York Capital Management owns more than 1 million shares of Liberty Media Corporation. This company represents 3% of his investment portfolio.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

BK outranks all of the previous stocks mentioned in regards to position growth. Berkshire Hathaway increased its position in the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. by 250% in 2012. They went from 5.6 million shares to a whopping 19.6 million shares throughout that period.

During 2012, BK shares climbed 24% in price, and the shares have risen another 5% since we’ve moved into 2013. The company reported earnings on April 17. They missed earnings-per-share estimates by 2%, and also missed revenue expectations as well.

Investor sentiment remains positive on the sell side. But, mean price targets remain a year out, and the company’s growth potential could increase by 4.4% during that time. Mario Gabelli, billionaire of GAMCO Investors, owns roughly 6,000,000 shares of the Bank of New York Mellon.

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