Berkshire Takes Stake in Starz, Chicago Bridge & Iron

On Wednesday, Berkshire Hathaway revealed that it has taken up new investments in Starz and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. They also decided to sell off some of their shares of Mondelez International Inc., a snack food maker.

There were a number of other adjustments made to the $85 billion US stock portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway during the first quarter of 2013. These changes were recently disclosed in documents that were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC for short.

At the end of the first quarter, the company owned 6.5 million shares of construction and engineering firm Chicago Bridge & Iron, which has a main focus on energy products, and they also owned shares in the Starz movie network totaling 5.6 million

Chicago Bridge & Iron recently completed their purchase of The Shaw Group back in February of this year. They are the primary contractor at Plant Vogtle’s nuclear expansion. This deal is valued at $3.1 billion. The Shaw Group continues to remain the primary contractor of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River Site.

It’s quite common for investors to closely watch the things that Berkshire Hathaway does when trading so they can copy what Warren Buffett does. But, many of the most recent investments are smaller than $500 million. So these investments are most likely coming from Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, Berkshire Hathaway’s investment managers.

We are unable to learn which investments were made by whom through the quarterly stock filing. We do know that Ted Weschler and Todd Combs each have $5 billion portfolios that they manage for Berkshire Hathaway. Although Warren Buffett continues to make the majority of the investment decisions for the conglomerate based out of Omaha, Nebraska.

The officials at Berkshire Hathaway do not often comment when making their required disclosures, and when left a message on Wednesday afternoon, no one responded immediately.

At the end of 2012, Berkshire owned 12.8 million shares of Mondelez International. It has now cut its stake to 7 million shares. The company also trimmed their shares of Kraft Foods to 1.6 million. It was previously 1.67 million shares.

Berkshire also added on to some of the other investments in their energy portfolio. They bought more shares of National Oilwell Varco Inc. which brings it to 7.5 million shares. They didn’t add to their shares of ConocoPhillips or Phillips 66.

It’s no surprise that Buffett also added onto his favorite bank stock, Wells Fargo & Co. The company now owns 458.2 million shares. This is up from 439.9 million shares.

Berkshire also added onto its investment in Walmart, and brought it up to 49.2 million shares at the end of March. They previously held 47.5 million.

Buffett also increased his company’s investment in Internet registry service VeriSign Inc. They previously held 3.7 million shares, and now own 8.2 million.

The company completely eliminated two of their smaller investments in General Dynamics Corp. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. Both were part of the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio at the end of 2012. Plus, Berkshire reduced its stake in Bank of New York Mellon from 19.6 million shares to 18.9 million shares.

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