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Looks like Berkshire went over 10% on Wells as of this morning's updated WFC share count.  I'm seeing period end (9/30/19) Wells share count at 4.2691 Billion shares and Berkshire with 432.383 million shares.  So a few days after Wells files their 10Q we will see if Berkshire was granted or is in the process of being granted permission to let the stake drift above 10% due to repurchase activity.  Seemed to be allowed for BAC so I would expect the same for Wells.

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Thanks for posting this, gfp. I hadn't got round to checking.

The filing deadline for Form 3 or similar would be 3 days, wouldn't it?

If so we should know around Friday evening after the closing bell, I imagine, and we'll find out if they happened to add to their WFC position this quarter (which is unlikely but possible). I suspect various news outlets will report it incorrectly as an add, because they never include the 22,580,200 shares held for Berkshire via New England Asset Management's 13F-HR.


Assuming it has to remain passive once it exceeds 10% through buybacks, we can probably assume that they won't add to the position once they know it has exceeded 10% (as they did with Delta Air Lines DAL during the three days before filing, causing 2 filings within days).

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sorry to post this in your thread, but it relates to what we were just talking about -



Also - an update for your BAC position size now that Applied Underwriters is sold


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It's everyone's thread, gfp, and probably the best place to put news like this - I just happen to own and edit the spreadsheet.


You've made enormously valuable input to it and to my understanding of the filing rules and things like New England Asset Management's 13F, and encouraged me to look deeper into these arcane rules.


I've now modified the BAC look-through holding based on this Form 4 by way of the adjustment column (as the change won't be shown on a form 13F-HR until 14 Feb 2020, reflecting the portfolio at 31 Dec 2019).


Now the new BAC share count of 9,079.3 million shares at Sep 30th is known, Berkshire, with 947,760,000 shares, owns a fraction under 10.44% of BAC.

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Looks like Berkshire went over 10% on Wells as of this morning's updated WFC share count.  I'm seeing period end (9/30/19) Wells share count at 4.2691 Billion shares and Berkshire with 432.383 million shares.  So a few days after Wells files their 10Q we will see if Berkshire was granted or is in the process of being granted permission to let the stake drift above 10% due to repurchase activity.  Seemed to be allowed for BAC so I would expect the same for Wells.


It seems that I was wrong about the filing deadlines, which appear to be 10 days from the event, so with WFC's new share count becoming known on 15th October, then Berkshire, by the close of Friday 25th October would presumably need to file Form 3 (or possibly 13D or 13G) if the ownership has crept over 10% of WFC.


Form 3, 4, 5: If the issuer is already registered under Section 12, the insider must file a Form 3 within ten days of becoming an officer, director, or beneficial owner. (beneficial owner meaning 10%+)

Changes in ownership are reported on Form 4 and must be reported to the SEC within two business days. You can find the limited categories of transactions not subject to the two-day reporting requirement in the new rule. (I think this is only after you've filed the initial Form 3 and any subsequent changes in ownership occur - e.g. acquiring or disposing of shares. I don't think Form 4 is necessary if you keep the same number of shares and the issuer repurchases shares or issues new shares.)


Schedule 13: Schedule 13D reports the acquisition and other information within ten days after the purchase.


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Could be from the date of the WFC 10-Q being filed, which would be even later since WFC hasn't actually filed the 10-Q with the SEC yet.  The big banks tend to have quite a delay between their 'earnings release' and the filing of the actual 10-Q.  Berkshire themselves always puts them out simultaneously, which like so many of their practices probably has at its root a pet peeve of Mr. Buffett.  Another pet peeve of Mr. Buffett is how deep into a filing you have to go to find actual financial statements like a balance sheet.  Sometimes its hundreds of pages in.  Berkshire always puts them up front.  Balance sheet on page 2...

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I believe the 25th July filing in relation to BAC was in response to an event on 17th July, which appears to be on the last page of the Press Release included in BAC's 8K filing where it states "Ending common shares issued and outstanding" to be 9,342.6 million, taking Berkshire's 950 million already held prior at 30th June (though not known to us at that time) over 10%.


Also in the 8K supplemental information it states with full precision:

Common stock and additional paid-in capital, $0.01 par value; authorized – 12,800,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding – 9,342,601,750, 9,568,389,268 and 10,012,719,225 shares

in addition to re-stating the 9,342.6 million rounded figure.


WFC's 8K on 15th Oct, first Exhibit shows:

Common shares outstanding 4,269.1 million at 30th Sep 2019.


I'd imagine that, being an 8-K filed with SEC, it's probably considered a sufficiently official regulatory disclosure, even if it's packaged with press releases, but I guess we'll find out if Berkshire file within the next couple of days.


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There has been no filing from Berkshire about its WFC holding exceeding 10% so far.

The most probable two reasons are:

1. WFC isn't deemed to have disclosed its latest share count within the meaning of form 3 - it only gave a count rounded to the nearest 0.1 million shares as of 30th Sept in press release preliminary financials, not an exact statement of shares outstanding as they would produce in their 10-Q.

2. Berkshire has reduced its holding in WFC during Q3 or even in October, prior to the WFC announcement to below 426.91 million shares.


It may be that WFC is different to BAC and Berkshire has reasons to stay below 10% - closer banking relationships or keeping options open regarding reporting of share sales.


I guess the Berkshire 10-Q is most likely to come out on Sat 2nd Nov, though possibly as late at Sat 9th Nov.


The WFC position will be among the top five holdings, so the 'fair value' of the position at 30th Sept's closing price of $50.44 per share would normally be disclosed in Note 4. Investments in equity securities, rounded to the nearest $0.1 billion. From that we can estimate the number of shares held in each of those top 5.


255.3 million AAPL at $223.97 would round to $57.2 billion ($57,179,614,686 rounded up). It's possible but unlikely that this position has changed in Q3.

950.0 million BAC at $29.17 would round to $27.7 billion ($27,711,500,000 rounded down). This is known. We now know that a few of these shares worth about $65 million were divested with the sale of Applied Underwriters, but only after the 30th September quarter-end date. As it's over 10%, any movements must be reported rapidly to the SEC.

400.0 million KO (Coca Cola) shares at $54.44 will have Fair Value of $21.8 billion ($21,776,000,000 rounded up). This is known, as Berkshire has to file any trades as it owns >10% of KO.

151.6 million AXP (American Express) at $118.28 will have Fair Value of $17.9 billion ($17,932,513,596 rounded down). Again, known as they hold >10%.

WFC could be maybe $21.0 billion to $21.8 billion, the top end being if they haven't sold any shares in Q3. This is the main unknown at present.


A WFC holding remaining at 432,383,973 shares would be reported at $21.8 billion 'fair value' ($21,809,447,598 rounded down), matching KO, and unless Berkshire has sold before WFC reveals their exact share count, we'd then get a Form 3 or Form 4 filing to reveal the 10% holding within about 10 days of Wells Fargo confirming their exact common stock outstanding, presumably in their 10-Q, also likely to be published this week or possibly next.

A reduced WFC holding of, say, 426,900,000 shares would be reported at $21.5 billion 'fair value', which would actually cover a possible range from 425,257,732 to 427,240,285 shares, either of which extreme will only just round to $21.5 billion using conventional rounding rules. This range spans the 10% mark, so we'd have to wait to see if there's a further filing or not.


If Berkshire has sold to stay below 10% during Q3, I imagine they'd have chosen to err on the safe side and have reduced to perhaps 420 million shares or fewer ($21.2 bn).


Berkshire's Fair Value seems to use the widely reported closing price for the last trading day of the quarter every time I've checked (and I've checked the top five positions, like AAPL, BAC, KO, WFC, AXP every quarter for the last 7 or 8 quarters and top 15 every 10-K), and occasional coincidences of rounding break points almost prove they had used the exact closing price I obtained from GoogleFinance and Yahoo Finance.


I'd estimate that the total Fair Value of Investments in equity securities, including Others outside the top 5 (and not including KHC of course), would be no less than $210.7 bn, assuming something new was bought for about $1.0bn to replace RHT after its takeover completed, probably a Todd or Ted merger arbitrage trade. It could well be up to $6bn higher if new after-tax earnings during the quarter were also reinvested into equity securities, so probably a portfolio total in the range $210-$217 billion is possible.


I think they beat the S&P500 by almost 4% for the quarter, although that period is too short to be very meaningful, and I think they have extended that lead to about 7.5% so far in October, after gains for Apple and the banks, with the portfolio on 29th October being valued at about $221-$228 bn I'd imagine, depending how much of the earnings were invested in stocks.


With TTM earnings of about $14.0bn ($5.73 per BRK.B share), I make the trailing P/E ratio of the portfolio about 15.7, and its look through market price around $90.18 per BRK.B share, meaning that at $212.53, you get the operating part of Berkshire for $122.35. If that operating portion brings in a little over $10 per BRK.B share of after tax operating earnings normally, that could be an earnings yield over 8%, or over the whole of BRK.B, fairly conservative look-through earnings (including Berkshire's share of EPS) of say $15.75 per B share (7.4% earnings yield on $212.53). This year, the share of KHC write-downs has depressed reported earnings, but I think over $15.75 per B share is probably a fair normalized figure for look-through earnings.

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thanks Dynamic.  Yes, earnings release is this Saturday morning.  I'll be in the country for the weekend at an old 1820's plantation with no printer.  Hoping to sneak a laptop in...


Curious to see if he's still selling down Wells, adding to JPM or any other new surprises.  That apple position sure perked up.  255 million shares is no joke - sooner or later you're talkin' real money

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Enjoy your weekend gfp. I think I could wait til Monday to digest the results if we're out having fun, though my timezone gives me a few extra hours before the market opens. A few quarters lately I've had my first look on my smartphone while out visiting friends, but it's hard to resist taking an early look and calculating a couple of numbers I've been looking for.

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I've looked at Note 4 in the Q3 report. This summarises Investments in Equity Securities (excluding KHC and other partial control stakes accounted under the Equity Method). I also compared this to the same note on Q2's report.


This category does include the new $10bn investment info Occidental Petroleum preferred on 8th August.


The overall cost basis in the portfolio increased from $102,620 million to $112,207 million, implying that $9,587 million of cost basis was added net.


The cost basis of Banks, insurance and finance and of Consumer products declined slightly, presumably reflecting sales of WFC shares and perhaps some other, maybe including a slight trimming of the AAPL stakes held by Ted Weschler (or Todd Combs) possibly to invest elsewhere.


The cost basis in Commercial, industrial and other increased by $10,769 million, which is $0.769 billion more than the Occidental should account for.


I would not think there has been very much net buying of new securities other than the OXY deal and some reinvestment of closed positions like the cash proceeds of the Red Hat merger.


Unrealized gains increased from $97,896 to $107,844 million, an increase of $9,948 million. I estimated that an unchanged portfolio since 30th June would have gained 5.1% or $10,181 million (beating the S&P500 by about 3.9%), including realised gains such as those on Red Hat proceeds, so this seems pretty much in line.


The total portfolio value increased from $200,516 million to $220,051 million, an increase of $19,535 million. This is $9,354 million more than my estimate of gains on an unchanged portfolio, and less than the $10,000 million of the OXY investment.


Now looking at the top 5 positions:


AXP and KO positions are essentially permanent and would be disclosed early to SEC if changed as they exceed 10%. They also match my closing-price estimates when rounded to nearest $0.1bn


WFC, 432,383,973 shares held at 30th June. $50.44 closing price 30th September per Yahoo Finance and Google Finance.

$21,809,447,598 holding at 30th Sep unless shares were sold or purchased. Rounds to $21.8 bn

Note 4 reported fair value = $20.2 bn.

Clearly some were sold to stay below 10% despite WFC's strong buybacks, hence the reduction in cost basis in the Banks, insurance and finance category.


Min holding at 30 Sep $50.44/sh = 399,484,536 shares

Max holding at 30 Sep $50.44/sh = 401,467,089 shares

Central estimate at $50.44/sh = 400,475,813 shares ± 991,276


It's possible that the closing price of $50.44 is not exactly the one used by Berkshire Hathaway, but my past experience is that Yahoo Finance and Google Finance figures for quarter end closing prices match very well to the nearest $0.1 bn.


Verdict: Wells Fargo trimmed fairly substantially to remain below 10%.


AAPL, 255,300,329 shares held at 30th June. $223.97 closing price 30th September per Yahoo Finance and Google Finance.


Note 4 reported fair value = $57.0 bn.

Closing price implied if holding unchanged = $223.08 - $223.46 - both would round to $57.0 bn to nearest $0.1bn


Min holding at 30 Sep $233.97/sh = 254,275,127 shares

Max holding at 30 Sep $233.97/sh = 254,721,614 shares

Central estimate at $233.97/sh = 254,498,370 shares ± 223,244


A small amount of selling could account for the cost basis reduction in Consumer products.


Verdict: Apple is likely to have seen light trimming possibly for Ted or Todd to reinvest into a more undervalued position.

BAC, 950,000,000 shares held at 30th June. $29.17 closing price 30th September per Yahoo Finance and Google Finance. Also known to have held 950,000,000 shares at 9th Oct prior to disposal of Applied Underwriters, per Form 4 filed 15th Oct.

$27,711,500,000.00 (rounds to $27.7bn)

Note 4 reported fair value = $27.8 bn.

Closing price implied if holding unchanged = $29.22 - $29.26 - both would round to $27.8 bn to nearest $0.1bn


Berkshire also holds 354 shares of Series T 6% Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock in Bank of America Corporation.

I believe these are probably worth $37,170,000 as they're redeemable by BAC at $105,000 per share.


Even adding in this, I get a figure of $27,748,670,000 for the total investment in BAC. That is very close to the rounding threshold, but not quite there.


My guess is that either the closing price of the BAC common stock is different to the Yahoo / Google figures (possibly they use the same data feed) or that the Fair Value of the Preferred has been calculated a little higher based on some other calculation of Fair Value (e.g. based on lower Fed rates) or by comparison to observable prices of comparable BAC securities that are traded in the market.


Verdict: Bank of America Corporation holding unchanged at 30th Sep, but possibly adjustment to fair value calculation on their preferred stock.

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Thank you for the very elaborate walk-through of the situation as you see it, Dynamic,


Just for information, BAC has released its 2019Q3 10-Q on October 28th 2019, stating a total share count of 8,995,807,401 on October 25th 2019. So I suppose Berkshire is holding on to its BAC position until there is a decision if it can go above 10 percent position, or Berkshire also for BAC will become a forced seller as for WFC, until new practice for bank holding companies [likely] is applied.

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Yes, Berkshire owned 950,000,000 BAC common stock on 30th June and hasn't bought or sold any since. They only divested 2,240,000 shares on selling Applied Underwriters on 10th October and their known percentage of shares outstanding has gone up when BAC revealed their share share count was under 9 billion shares as you mention. They have to file within 5 days of any activity as they did on 15th October, so I'm sure the 13F-HR filings will show 950,000,000 shares at 30th September overall (927,248,600 on BRK's 13F plus 22,751,400 more on NEAM's 13F).


As for WFC, it appears that either their banking relationship is closer, so they're either not permitted to own over 10% by the Fed and keep their banking relationships with Wells Fargo, or they want to retain the flexibility to sell shares without disclosing it within 5 days. I suspect the former is the main reason, though I cannot remember why I formed the impression they work closely with them.


Another interesting thing to note is that the market value of the Apple holding now represents almost one eighth of Berkshire's stock price at prices around Friday's closing prices, even if they sold a little AAPL during Q3.


The holdings in banks and financials collectively account for about 1/6th of Berkshire's stock price by my reckoning.


I've applied my central estimates for the number of shares of AAPL and WFC held in the Look Through portfolio spreadsheet (only the one that the public cannot edit for now) by way of the adjustment column. I can remove those once the 13F-HR is out. I already posted the BAC adjustment announced 15th October.


Also, I cancelled out the RHT holding as this was taken over during Q3. The proceeds are probably reinvested somewhere already, as I think this was Ted or Todd's position, but we won't know until the 13F.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Berkshire has made two 'Ownership' filings on 12th November:


1. Berkshire has filed Form 3 as it has become a 10% controller of LUV Southwest Airlines stock since 8th November when the 10-Q was filed by LUV indicating

Number of shares of Common Stock outstanding as of the close of business on November 6, 2019: 526,276,126

The 53,649,213 shares controlled by Berkshire and various pension funds it controls at 30th June are unchanged, but LUV buybacks have caused it to exceed 10% (approx. 10.19%). The adjustment for the pension funds remains at -6,956,500, leaving the share attributable to Berkshire shareholders at 46,962,713 shares as before, which is now 8.92% economic interest in LUV. I do not need to modify the Look-Through Portfolio sheets in light of this, as I had previously obtained the correct figures and adjustments from a SC 13G/A filing.


2. Berkshire also filed a SC 13D/A report relating to DAVITA INC. (DVA). Over half of Berkshire's position is beneficially owned by subsidiary pension funds and the total contolled shares is unchanged at 38,565,570. The percentage is now 29.7% based on the 10-Q filed on 7th November:

As of November 1, 2019, the number of shares of the Registrant’s common stock outstanding was approximately 129.7 million shares.. All of the shares for the benefit of Berkshire shareholders are held via National Indemnity Company, with 18,513,482 shares (14.3%). The rest are held in various pension trusts. R Ted Weschler has some shares too, but they're not included in the Berkshire 13F-HR or the total shares controlled by Berkshire. Again, it's probably just a percentage ownership change that is being notified and I don't need to adjust the look-through spreadsheet.

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Latest 13F-HR summary: (not yet adjusted on my public Google Sheets)


Two new positions on the 13F-HR filings are OXY (Occidental Petroleum common stock) and RH (Restoration Holdings common stock)

AAPL (Apple) and WFC (Wells Fargo) reduced as previewed by 10-Q filing (see above). PSX (Phillips 66) also reduced.

RHT (Red Hat) eliminated upon take-over.

BAC was unchanged as at 30th September (the 13F date), but was reduced marginally on 15th October on the sale of Applied Underwriters.


AAL_________ American Airlin…Group Inc ____unch _unchanged count
AAPL________ Apple Inc._______________ __-0.29% _____254,549,679
AMZN________ Amazon Com Inc___________ ____unch _unchanged count
AXP_________ American Express Co______ ____unch _unchanged count
AXTA________ Axalta Coating …stems Ltd ____unch _unchanged count
BAC_________ Bank of America…rporation ____unch _unchanged count
BK__________ Bank of New Yor…llon Corp ____unch _unchanged count
CASS________ Società Cattoli…operativa ____unch _unchanged count
CHTR________ Charter Communi…tions Inc ____unch _unchanged count
COST________ Costco Wholesale Corp____ ____unch _unchanged count
DAL_________ Delta Air Lines, Inc_____ ____unch _unchanged count
DEO_________ Diageo P L C Spon ADR New ____unch _unchanged count
DVA_________ DaVita HealthCa…tners Inc ____unch _unchanged count
GL__________ Globe Life Inc …ark Corp) ____unch _unchanged count
GM__________ General Motors Co________ ____unch _unchanged count
GS__________ Goldman Sachs Group Inc__ ____unch _unchanged count
HCG_________ Home Capital Gr… (CANADA) ________ ________________
HKG:1211____ BYD Company Lim… Listing) ____unch _unchanged count
JNJ_________ Johnson & Johnson________ ____unch _unchanged count
JPM_________ JPMorgan Chase & Co______ ____unch _unchanged count
KHC_________ Kraft Heinz Co___________ ____unch _unchanged count
KO__________ Coca-Cola Co_____________ ____unch _unchanged count
LBTYA_______ Liberty Global …c Class A ____unch _unchanged count
LBTYK_______ Liberty Global …c Class C ____unch _unchanged count
LILA________ Liberty Global …C Class A ____unch _unchanged count
LILAK_______ Liberty Global …C Class C ____unch _unchanged count
LSXMA_______ Liberty Sirius … Series A ____unch _unchanged count
LSXMK_______ Liberty Sirius … Series C ____unch _unchanged count
LUV_________ Southwest Airls Co_______ ____unch _unchanged count
LXS_________ Lanxess AG_______________ ________ ________________
MA__________ MasterCard Inc___________ ____unch _unchanged count
MCO_________ Moody's Corporation______ ____unch _unchanged count
MDLZ________ Mondelez Intern…ional Inc ____unch _unchanged count
MTB_________ M&T Bank Corp____________ ____unch _unchanged count
OXY_________ Occidental Petr…eum Corp. _**NEW** _______7,467,508
OXY.preferre Occidental 8% p…red stock ____unch _unchanged count
PG__________ Proctor and Gamble_______ ____unch _unchanged count
PNC_________ PNC Financial S…Group Inc ____unch _unchanged count
PSX_________ Phillips 66______________ __-6.66% _______5,182,637
QSR_________ Restaurant Bran…ional Inc ____unch _unchanged count
RH__________ Restoration Har…ings, Inc _**NEW** _______1,207,844
RHT_________ Red Hat Inc______________ -100.00% ________________
SAN_________ Sanofi Euronext Paris____ ____unch _unchanged count
SIRI________ Sirius XM Hldgs Inc______ __-1.19% _____136,275,729
STNE________ StoneCo Ltd._____________ ____unch _unchanged count
STOR________ Store Capital Corp_______ ____unch _unchanged count
SU__________ Suncor Energy Inc New____ ____unch _unchanged count
SYF_________ Synchrony Financial______ ____unch _unchanged count
TEVA________ Teva Pharmaceut…Ltd (ADR) ____unch _unchanged count
TRV_________ Travelers Companies Inc__ ____unch _unchanged count
UAL_________ United Continen…dings Inc ____unch _unchanged count
UPS_________ United Parcel S…Inc (UPS) ____unch _unchanged count
USB_________ U.S. Bancorp_____________ ____unch _unchanged count
V___________ Visa Inc_________________ ____unch _unchanged count
VRSN________ VeriSign Inc_____________ ____unch _unchanged count
WFC_________ Wells Fargo & Co New_____ __-7.27% _____400,949,218

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I believe I've now updated both sheets to reflect the current known portfolio. The links in this old post will still work.


The spreadsheet I'd advise you to Make a copy of for your own use is:

Berkshire Hathaway Look Through Earnings & Holdings


The spreadsheet that is publicly editable by anyone (but anyone can see any edits you make, the edit history, or corrupt the spreadsheet) is:

Berkshire Look through earnings - Public editing allowed


The sheets are now updated. I made an attempt to account for OXY preferred stock assuming its fair value is 5% above the initial investment of $10bn, i.e. $10.5bn, which would represent the cost for OXY to buy out the preferred. As the 8% yield is counted in Berkshire's bottom line as cash received or owed (an asset) or paid as OXY stock received, this preferred stock has no look through EPS to add to Berkshire's look through earnings.


It's possible that the OXY warrants have a value in Berkshire's portfolio that is presumably marked to model, with something along the lines of a Black Scholes approximation which it might be possible to estimate. That might explain why my end of quarter portfolio valuation (excluding KHC) is now about $1.6 billion below Berkshire's equity portfolio, still <1% difference, but is a few times larger than it was at 30th June.

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A new SEC filing reveals a 10.2% stake is now held in LUV, unchanged share count and still exactly the same pension fund holdings as before to deduct for three shareholders stake, so it's due to buybacks. But it would require any future change to be notified within 5 days as I understand it. Probably a sign that this is a potentially near permanent holding in Berkshire's eyes.


Here's the share count trend over several years in a chart.

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  • 1 month later...
Man, it looks like it will be one hell of a year-end mark on the apple position.  254.55 million shares at around 292.  Yowza.




Yes, I actually took the time yesterday to open the spreadsheet provided and shared by Dynamic to look at it. Holy Molly! [0_0] - And people on Twitter have started to whine about why Mr. Buffett isn't reducing the position! - Let's see how it plays out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just to make people who use the spreadsheet aware, when the deal to sell off the newspapers to Lee Enterprises closes - possibly in March 2020, various items in the Adjustments column relating to pension fund holdings are probably going to need modification as of the future 13F-HR filings.


The 13F after this may be the one that comes out on 15th May 2020.


I suspect a number of 13D or 13G filings will be made, which at that point might no-longer include the pension schemes for the likes of Buffalo News employees, though it may be possible that for a period, some of these will continue to be managed by Berkshire and show up in their 13F-HR.


It is not clear to me yet whether any of the assets of the Berkshire Hathaway consolidated pension scheme will also be transferred out, if any of the employees of other newspapers are members of that scheme, but I imagine a number of SEC filings will begin to clear things up at the time, just as they did when Applied Underwriters was spun off, and some BAC stock was transferred out with it.


- edit - I would imagine that the holdings are relatively minor. For example, the American Airlines holdings by pension plans are almost half of the 13F holding, but those in the Buffalo News plans are dwarfed by other pension plans like GEICO's. That's the only one I've really looked into. I don't imagine it will have a material effect on Berkshire's ability to increase holdings without crossing 10%.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The total holding over Berkshire's 13F-HR and New England Asset Managements' 13F-HR is exactly 92 million shares of BK, which it has been since 31st Dec 2018 (when it was 9.6% of BK's outstanding shares) - a few of those shares are held via NEAM so don't appear on CNBC's portfolio tracker or any other public 13F trackers I've seen.


That share count is unchanged and I don't think it has ever exceeded 10%. To my knowledge the only bank that exceeded 10% was BAC.


BK now has only 922.2 million shares outstanding, so the proportion controlled by Berkshire is now 9.98%. It seems the Bank Holding Company Act rule change will be just in time, coming into effect on 1st April 2020 and allowing Berkshire to hold over 10% without becoming a BHC. Berkshire will probably have to file with SEC as a 10% holder within a few days of crossing the 10% threshold of known BK shares outstanding and from then on report any trades within a few days instead of just quarterly.


There is an adjustment applied by my sheet of -7,511,249 shares to account for holdings by pension funds of Berkshire and its subsidiaries.


On COMBINED HOLDINGS tab, column H (now corrected) my sheet shows details of the sources of these adjustments:


If you check out that 13G filling link from 14 Feb 2018 you'll find the pension fund holdings on pages 30-32 and on page 47.


Note 3 on about page 51, confirms:

Berkshire Hathaway Consolidated Pension Plan Mater Retirement Trust, BNSF Master Retirement Trust, GEICO Corporation Pension Plan Trust and Precision Castparts Corp. Master Trust are each an Employee Benefit Plan in accordance with § 240.13d-1(b)(1)(ii)(F).

and this is also confirmed in EXHIBIT A:



Berkshire Hathaway Consolidated Pension Plan Master Retirement Trust


BNSF Master Retirement Trust


GEICO Corporation Pension Plan Trust


Precision Castparts Corp. Master Trust


Note: No Common Stock of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation is held directly by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. or by Warren E. Buffett, an individual who may be deemed to control Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 1,417,000 shares or approximately 0.1% of Common Stock of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation are held directly by Brilliant National Services, Inc., MPP Company, Inc. and NRG America Holding Company, none of which are persons specified in Rule 13d-1 (b) (1) (ii) (A) through (J).


I include that Note also, because it mentions 1,417,000 shares held by companies not defined under SEC Rule 13d. These three companies and their holdings are still listed in the 13G filing, but it's just pointing out that they are not required to file under the SEC Rule 13d.


These filings can be tricky to parse because many of the holdings are shown at the parent company level and the subsidiary level, and subsidiaries of the subsidiaries too, so the totals of all numbers far exceed the overall holding. Fortunately, the employee benefit pension funds do not have subsidiaries, so they can be added together quite simply to provide the adjustment so that we only count the shares held for the benefit of Berkshire shareholders.

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