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Berkshire doubles Teva stake, adds to Apple, ends a newspaper bet


By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Hathaway Inc on Tuesday said it has more than doubled its investment in generic drugmaker , and confirmed it has become Apple Inc's second-largest shareholder.

also shed an investment dating to the mid-1970s that reflected Buffett's longstanding love for newspapers, selling its stake in , the former publisher of

The changes were disclosed in a regulatory filing detailing Berkshire's U.S.-listed stock holdings as of March 31.

owned about $173 billion of equities, as well as dozens of businesses in the railroad, insurance, energy, chemical, and

Berkshire said it owned about 40.5 million Teva American depositary receipts (ADRs) worth about $693 million as of that date, up from 18.9 million ADRs three months earlier.

Teva's share price rose 5.1 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday. Stocks often rise in price when Berkshire reveals new or increased stakes.

Larger stock investments are normally made by Buffett, while smaller bets come from his investment managers and The filing does not say who bought which stocks.

Berkshire said much of the $14.8 billion it invested in equities during the quarter went to Apple, and said it owned 239.6 million shares worth more than $40 billion.

That gave Berkshire a roughly 5 percent stake in the maker, surpassing and trailing only Vanguard Group, according to data.

Buffett told CNBC on May 7: "I'd love to own 100 percent" of Apple, two days after he told Berkshire's annual meeting that he might buy more Apple for the right price.

Berkshire shed a more than six-year-old investment in that Buffett has admitted was not his best.

The sale of Berkshire's last 107,775 Graham shares ended an investment that once exceeded $1 billion.

Buffett pitched newspapers while growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, and was a longtime friend of the late publisher

She died in 2001 and the Post was sold 12 years later to founder In 2014, Buffett swapped much of Berkshire's stake in Graham for Berkshire stock that Graham owned, a TV station in and cash.

Berkshire still invests in newspapers and recently owned 32 daily newspapers including its hometown World-Herald.

Buffett has lamented how changing reader habits have damaged the industry, and said only The Wall Street Journal, and perhaps the Post have come up with digital business models capable of replacing lost

In Tuesday's filing, Berkshire also reported higher stakes in Co , , Monsanto Co and US Bancorp , and lower stakes in Charter Communications Inc , Liberty Global Plc , Phillips 66 , United Continental Holdings Inc , Verisk Analytics Inc and Wells Fargo & Co .

Berkshire had disclosed the Phillips 66 change, and that it might sell Wells Fargo stock to keep its stake below 10 percent.

(Reporting by Jonathan in New York; editing by G Crosse and Leslie Adler)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 03:12 IST