Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway unloaded its entire $850 million worth of General Motors (GM) stock last quarter, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Shares of the automaker, which recently forecast that a strike by autoworkers this fall would cut pretax earnings by about $800 million this year, were down about 0.3% on Wednesday.
GM holdings make up a small percentage of Berkshire’s $313 billion portfolio, but the firm does appear to be lowering its position in a number of big, blue chip names.
The Oracle of Omaha also sold off some of Berkshire’s other holdings, including Amazon, HP, Chevron, Procter & Gamble, UPS, Mondelez International and Johnson & Johnson in the third quarter.
Overall, Berkshire Hathaway was a net seller of stocks last quarter: The firm sold about $7 billion worth of stock and bought $1.7 billion. In the past year, the company has sold about $40 billion worth of stock.
Still, Berkshire Hathaway did procure some shares of satellite radio company Sirius XM, buying nearly 10 million shares for a total of $50 million — or just under 1% of Sirius’ total market value — in the third quarter.
Shares of Sirius shot nearly 6% higher on Wednesday.
Berkshire ended the quarter with a record $157 billion in cash on hand. The company had about $147 billion at the end of the second quarter and beat out its previous record of $149 billion, set in 2021.
The money, which is mostly held in short-term Treasuries, has grown significantly as interest rates increase and as dealmaking on Wall Street has dried up, giving Buffett less opportunity to acquire new companies.
Buffett earlier this year brushed off Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of US credit from the top AAA grade to AA+, telling CNBC on August 3 that Berkshire bought $10 billion worth of US Treasuries that week after doing the same a week prior.
“The only question for next Monday is whether we will buy $10 billion in 3-month or 6-month [Treasury notes],” Buffett said at the time.
Earlier this month, Berkshire Hathaway reported that its bets abroad have also paid off.
Berkshire revealed in 2020 that it had bought stakes of about 5% in each of Japan’s top five trading companies, totaling $6.7 billion in investments at the time.
The company doubled down this year, taking its stakes in each company to average above 8.5%, as Japan’s stock market soared to 33-year highs.
“It was like having God just opening a chest and just pouring money into it,” Charlie Munger, vice chair of Berkshire Hathaway, said of the investments in an interview with the Acquired podcast, released in October.
Shares of Berkshire Hathaway are up about 15.8% year to date. The S&P 500, meanwhile, is up 17.4% over the same period.
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