What can ASX investors learn from Warren Buffett's latest buys and sells?

We've just found out what Buffett's been buying and selling recently.

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Well, it's that time of year again. Every three months, US companies are required to file a 10F report, which details their financial moves over the preceding quarter.

The 10F filing from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.A)(NYSE: BRK.B) is probably one of, if not the, most anticipated on the entire American stock market.

The last time Berkshire Hathaway filed a 10F report, we covered some of Buffett's significant stock sales, as well as the far fewer buys.

So what does the latest report tell us?

What has Berkshire Hathaway been buying (and selling)?

Compared to the November 10F, this February's report was far tamer. However, Buffett was still a net seller of stocks over the three months to 31 December.

Here are some of Berkshire's major sales, according to WhaleWisdom:

  • HP Inc (NYSE: HPQ), with Berkshire selling US$2.4 billion worth of stock
  • Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), US$1.93 billion sold
  • D.R. Horton Inc (NYSE: DHI), with US$710 million sold
  • Paramount Global Inc (NASDAQ: PARA) with US$450 million sold
  • Markel Group Inc (NYSE: MKL) with US$259 million sold

In contrast, Buffett's buys were a lot less enthusiastic:

  • Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX), with Berkshire buying US$2.36 billion worth of stock
  • Occidental Petroleum Corp (NYSE: OXY), US$1.17 billion purchase
  • Sirius XM Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: SIRI), US$167 million purchase

Buffett doubles down on big oil

This is an interesting report to go through. Buffett is famous for his buy-and-hold investing, once commenting that his favourite holding time for an investment is "forever". So it's interesting to see Berkshire trim its largest position (accounting for more than 50% of Berkshire's portfolio) in Apple. Of Course, US$1.9 billion is something of a drop in the bucket – Berkshire still owns almost US$166.5 billion worth of Apple stock.

But the sale is still significant, given what Buffett has previously said.

Also significant is Buffett's buyup of oil giant Chevron, as well as Occidental. Last quarter's 10F filing revealed that Berkshire had offloaded shares in Chevron. As such, it's notable to see Buffett buying them back up, as well as shares in fellow oil stock Occidental. The recent volatility in oil prices (and thus the share prices of oil stocks) could have something to do with this.

Buffett's other major sale was in tech company HP. HP shares haven't gone anywhere for a while but did rally around 20% between October and December last year. So perhaps this gave Buffett an excuse to sell a big chunk of shares.

Foolish takeaway

Buffett's portfolio moves often seem to contradict the advice that he so generously showers on ordinary investors. Because we rarely get explanations or insights into Buffett's thinking (and if so, they usually come months later), I tend to think it's best to take what Buffett says as gospel advice, rather than what he does.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Apple and Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Chevron, HP, and Markel Group. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended Occidental Petroleum. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, and Markel Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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