Warren Buffett added shares of Wells Fargo to Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio for the ninth straight quarter in Q2 2013, bringing the billionaire investor’s stake in Wells to 8.7% of the bank’s stock, according to regulatory filings this week.
The investment of Berkshire (BRK.A), of which Buffett is the chairman, in Wells (WFC) now totals almost $20 billion, Bloomberg reported. The Wells stake is the largest holding in a value-focused portfolio that includes more than $15 billion in Coca-Cola Co., $11 billion in American Express and $12 billion in Buffett’s one technology sector stock, IBM.
“The Wells Fargo holding has surged by about 60% to 463.1 million shares in the five years through June 30,” wrote Noah Buhayar for Bloomberg, citing regulatory filings. “Buffett hasn’t added to AmEx and Coca-Cola since the 1990s. He built the IBM stake beginning in 2011.”
Wells Stock Up 26% in 2013
Wells Fargo stock is up 26% this year. As of June, the bank is the No. 1 small-business lender, auto lender, mortgage originator and commercial real estate originator, according to a Wells presentation at a Morgan Stanley financials conference on June 11. On the advisor side of the business, in late July the company said that it added 34 teams and some $5.4 billion in assets under management to the bank’s independent-advisor channel during the first half of 2013.
In the second quarter of 2013, Wells Fargo’s Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement unit reported revenue of close to $3.3 billion, up 10% from the year-ago period and 2% from the prior quarter, partly due to higher asset-based fees.
Buffett and his deputies also put money to work in cars, oil and satellite television in second-quarter 2013, making it Berkshire’s most heavily stock-invested quarter since 2011, The Financial Times reported. Berkshire increased its holdings in General Motors and also made new investments in Dish Network and the Canadian oil company Suncor Energy.