Why Warren Buffett Has Dumped 90% of His Walmart Shares

Samuel SharpFeb 16, 2017

The billionaire's Berkshire Hathaway sold off about $900 million worth of Wal-Mart Stores stock in the last quarter, or about 90% of what he had left after years of paring his investment in the discount retailer.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. late Tuesday filed a quarterly update on its USA stock portfolio with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

But their decisions have sometimes influenced Buffett, as when Berkshire past year paid $32.1 billion for aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, once a Combs investment.

Berkshire had a stake in Southwest Airlines Co. valued at more than $2 billion as of December 31 and more than tripled its Apple holding to about 57 million shares, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday from Buffett's Omaha, Nebraska-based company.

Investors like to look at Berkshire's investments for ideas because of Buffett's remarkably successful track record. Besides the Apple move, Berkshire also revealed a new 8 million share stake in Monsanto and added to its relatively new airline investments.

Though it is unclear who make which investments, the filing appears to reflect much of the $12 billion of stock that Buffett said he had bought between the November 8 Presidential election and the end of January.


Berkshire did not respond to a request for comment.

Buffett handles the biggest investments in Berkshire's portfolio, such as Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo and IBM.

It had been widely believed that Berkshire's initial investment came from Combs or Weschler.

The company reported as well a stake of $9.3 billion in airlines, with investment exceeding $2.1 billion in each of Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Continental and Southwest Airlines.

Berkshire's dozens of subsidiaries include auto insurer Geico, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom and railroad BNSF.

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