Warren Buffett’s Multi-Million Dollar Stock Trades at Berkshire Hathaway

warren buffett

Warren Buffett sold stocks that Berkshire was also trading, a ProPublica report said Thursday.
REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
  • ProPublica reported Thursday that Warren Buffett may have violated Berkshire Hathaway’s ethics policies.

  • Leaked IRS data seen by ProPublica showed that Buffett sold shares in stocks that Berkshire was trading.

  • Buffett has previously said that trading the same stocks as Berkshire would pose a conflict of interest.

According to a ProPublica report on Thursday, Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, may have breached Berkshire Hathaway’s ethics policies by privately trading the same stocks as the conglomerate, which he wrote himself.

Though changes in Berkshire’s stock holdings are closely watched by investors, Buffett has not revealed much about his personal investments. However, IRS data obtained by ProPublica indicates that over the past 20 years, he made trades in his personal portfolio on the same companies that Berkshire bought or sold during the same or preceding quarter.

Berkshire did not respond immediately to Insider’s request for comment, and Buffett also did not respond to ProPublica’s request for comment.

According to Berkshire’s ethics policies, “all actual and anticipated securities transactions of Berkshire” must be disclosed publicly before company employees can personally trade those stocks.

Buffett has previously stated that he “can’t be buying what Berkshire is buying,” as it would create a conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, ProPublica reported that Buffett made at least $466 million in personal stock sales between 2000 and 2019, though the records it viewed did not include securities he bought and held.

ProPublica uncovered three stock sales made by Buffett:

On April 24, 2009, Buffett sold $20 million worth of Wells Fargo shares in his personal account. ProPublica did not specify a particular transaction Berkshire made in the stock but noted the company was already a large shareholder.

In August 2009, Buffett personally sold $25 million in Walmart stock. It is not clear which came first, but that same quarter, Berkshire roughly doubled its stake in the retailer.

In October 2012, Buffett privately sold $35 million of Johnson & Johnson shares, which Berkshire also sold. A filing at the end of the quarter did not specify a date, and the conglomerate later sold millions more shares in the subsequent two quarters.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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