Buffett's firm trims drugmaker stakes, buys 2 new stocks

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Investor Warren Buffett's company made two new investments during the third quarter while trimming its holdings in several drugmakers and financial firms.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. updated its stock holdings in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday. The reports are closely watched by many investors because of Buffett's successful track record over the decades.

The conglomerate based in Omaha, Nebraska, said its newest holdings included $475 million worth of shares of Royalty Pharma, which invests in drug development and then collects royalties on the prescription drugs, and another $100 million worth of specialty flooring retailer Floor & Decor Holdings stock.

Besides those two new investments and a move to increase its stake in Chevron, all of Berkshire's other moves in the quarter reduced its investments in an assortment of companies. But Buffett didn't make any changes to Berkshire's biggest investments in Apple and Bank of America stock.

Buffett and other Berkshire officials don’t comment on these quarterly stock filings, and the reports don’t make it clear whether either of the company’s two other investment managers had a hand in the moves. Buffett generally handles all the bigger investments in Berkshire’s portfolio that are worth more than $1 billion apiece such as longstanding holdings in Coca-Cola and American Express stock.

With Chevron, Berkshire bought nearly 5.6 million shares to rebuild part of the investment it had been selling off in the first half of this year, but Berkshire's current $2.9 billion investment in the oil giant is still smaller than the $4.1 billion Chevron stake it established late last year.

During the third quarter, Berkshire sold off its investments in Merck and its spinoff Organnon & Co. It also reduced its stakes in drugmakers Abbvie and Bristol-Myers Squibb. But it maintained its roughly $400 million investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Berkshire also scaled back its investments in Visa and Mastercard and trimmed its US Bancorp stake during the quarter.

Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 90 companies outright, including BNSF railroad, Geico insurance and several major utilities. The conglomerate also owns manufacturing, furniture, shoe, jewelry, chocolate, underwear and brick companies.