Buffett's firm wins big with stake at Activision Blizzard

Warren Buffett's company made a rare investment in technology companies late last year. It has paid off big.

Buffett's firm wins big with stake at Activision Blizzard

In documents filed Monday with regulators, Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it had bought close to 15 million shares of Activision Blizzard's game publisher in the three most recent months of 2021.

This purchase occurred just a few days before Microsoft announced in January that it would acquire Activision for $68.7billion. The stock went skyrocketing. Activision shares have risen 22.5% this year.

Berkshire estimated that their 14.7 million shares of Activision Blizzard (the maker of Candy Crush, Call of Duty) were worth approximately $975 million by 2021. They were worth $1.19 Billion at the close of trading Monday.

Buffett was known for being a tech-averse investor, so it was surprising that Buffett made an investment in Buffett's company. Buffett has been avoiding investing in tech companies for years because it is too difficult to identify long-term winners in this sector.

Other changes to Berkshire’s portfolio of roughly $330 billion were made Monday by Buffett. These included an increase in investment in Chevron oil giant Chevron, the elimination of a stake at Teva Pharmaceuticals, and a reduction in its investments in other drugmakers.

These quarterly stock filings are not discussed by Buffett or other Berkshire officials. The reports also don't mention whether any of the two investment managers in Berkshire made the moves. Buffett usually handles the company's larger investments, which are worth more than $1B each, such as its stakes in Apple and Bank of America. The Activision Blizzard investment size suggests that Buffett made this decision.

Berkshire continued to rebuild its Chevron investment during the fourth quarter, when it bought nearly 10 million shares. However, the 38.2m shares still represents a smaller percentage than the 48.5million shares it had when it first disclosed the investment one year ago. In the first half last year, a significant portion of Berkshire's Chevron investment was sold.

Buffett's firm sold the 42.8 million Teva shares that it owned and reduced its holdings in other pharmaceutical firms, Abbvie, Bristol Myers Squibb and Royalty Pharma.

Berkshire also canceled a $266 Million investment in Sirius XM at the end of the quarter.

It announced a new investment in Brazilian fintech NU holdings, which went public in December. At the close of the year, Buffett's company owned 107 million shares in NU Holdings.

Berkshire also reduced its investment in Marsh & McLennan, a professional services company, and trimmed its holdings of Mastercard, Visa, and Charter Communications.

Berkshire also owns investments in more than 90 companies, including Geico insurance and BNSF railroad. It also has several other major utilities. It also owns manufacturing, brick, footwear, jewelry, chocolate, and underwear companies.


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