home Investment News Here’s how Warren Buffett’s stock picks for Berkshire Hathaway have performed in 2018

Here’s how Warren Buffett’s stock picks for Berkshire Hathaway have performed in 2018


Berkshire Hathaway will hold its annual meeting Saturday. It’s always a colorful event, with CEO Warren Buffett putting on a show that is doubtless the most fun among major U.S. companies’ investor events.

This is a good time to see how well, or how poorly, the company’s stock holdings have performed so far this year.

If you haven’t already done so, read Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders that was published in February. The annual letter is always candid, informative and entertaining. It is of interest to any long-term investor, and it also features a helping of common sense to see through the financial-services industry’s sleight of hand.

Berkshire Hathaway’s












BRK.B, -1.25%











BRK.A, -1.33%










website is refreshingly free of the typical breathless, feel-good nonsense that dominates many corporate websites, and it includes a list of all of Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders dating to 1977.

Berkshire’s stock investments

In addition to buying entire companies, Berkshire Hathaway buys and (sometimes) sells shares of stock. It’s required by the SEC to file a 13F report within 45 days of the end of each quarter, mainly listing the shares of companies that trade on U.S. exchanges.

Here’s a link to Berkshire’s Feb. 14 13F listing of stock holdings as of Dec. 31. You can find the entire list on the third link, which is the first one market “information table.”

It’s important to point out that the 13F doesn’t include all of Berkshire’s stock investments. For example, Berkshire is a major investor in Byd Co.












1211, -2.87%










The Chinese vehicle maker’s shares are down 21% this year, but Berkshire has made a bundle on this 10-year investment.  

Here’s how Berkshire’s 45 stocks listed on the Dec. 31 13F form have performed in 2018.

First, the 18 winners:

Company Ticker Industry Total return – 2018 through May 2 Total return – 2017 Total return – 3 years Total return – 5 years Total return – 10 years
Mastercard Inc. Class A












MA, -0.01%









Finance/ Rental/ Leasing 23% 48% 108% 252% 583%
Sirius XM Holdings Inc.












SIRI, +0.87%









Broadcasting 18% 21% 63% 94% 141%
Phillips 66












PSX, +0.16%









Oil Refining/ Marketing 14% 21% 54% 118% N/A
Visa Inc. Class A












V, -0.39%









Finance/ Rental/ Leasing 11% 47% 96% 199% 556%
Moody’s Corp.












MCO, -0.49%









Financial Publishing/ Services 11% 59% 58% 187% 378%
Graham Holdings Co.












GHC, -0.97%









Other Consumer Services 9% 10% 1% 132% 82%
Monsanto Co.












MON, -0.27%









Chemicals: Agricultural 8% 13% 12% 29% 29%
USG Corp.












USG, -0.14%









Construction Materials 8% 34% 53% 62% 14%
M&T Bank Corp.












MTB, -1.01%









Regional Banks 5% 11% 60% 100% 155%
Apple Inc.












AAPL, -0.71%









Telecommunications Equipment 5% 48% 45% 206% 665%
Costco Wholesale Corp.












COST, -1.24%









Specialty Stores 5% 22% 43% 103% 248%
Verisk Analytics Inc












VRSK, -0.04%









Insurance Brokers/ Services 4% 18% 32% 65% N/A
Liberty Media Corp. Series A Liberty SiriusXM












LSXMA, -0.40%









Movies/ Entertainment 4% 15% N/A N/A N/A
Liberty Media Corp. Series C Liberty SiriusXM












LSXMK, -0.56%









Movies/ Entertainment 3% 17% N/A N/A N/A
VeriSign Inc.












VRSN, +0.64%









Internet Software/ Services 3% 50% 84% 152% 276%
Bank of New York Mellon Corp.












BK, -1.56%









Major Banks 1% 16% 33% 111% 44%
United Continental Holdings Inc.












UAL, -0.93%









Airlines 1% -8% 11% 108% 327%
Bank of America Corp.












BAC, -2.51%









Major Banks 1% 36% 92% 157% -15%
Source: FactSet

You can click on the tickers for more about each company, including news, price ratios, charts and financials.

And now, the 27 losers:

Company Ticker Industry Total return – 2018 through May 2 Total return – 2017 Total return – 3 years Total return – 5 years Total return – 10 years
Kraft Heinz Co.












KHC, +2.25%









Food: Major Diversified -30% -8% -14% 54% N/A
Procter & Gamble Co.












PG, +0.33%









Household/ Personal Care -21% 13% -3% 7% 45%
Southwest Airlines Co.












LUV, -0.59%









Airlines -20% 32% 26% 296% 309%
American Airlines Group Inc.












AAL, -1.08%









Airlines -19% 12% -12% N/A N/A
Charter Communications Inc. Class A












CHTR, -2.60%









Cable/ Satellite TV -18% 17% 33% 141% N/A
Synchrony Financial












SYF, -2.46%









consumer Lending -14% 8% 8% N/A N/A
Wells Fargo & Co.












WFC, -1.21%









Major Banks -13% 13% 3% 61% 117%
DaVita Inc.












DVA, -0.12%









Medical/ Nursing Services -12% 13% -23% 8% 143%
Restaurant Brands International Inc












QSR, +0.24%









Restaurants -12% 31% 36% N/A N/A
Johnson & Johnson












JNJ, -1.26%









Pharmaceuticals: Major -11% 24% 34% 67% 146%
Mondelez International Inc. Class A












MDLZ, -0.70%









Food: Major Diversified -11% -2% 3% 31% 135%
General Motors Co.












GM, -1.51%









Motor Vehicles -11% 23% 16% 38% N/A
Sanofi ADR












SNY, +0.08%









Pharmaceuticals: Major -9% 9% -18% -20% 34%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.












GS, -2.12%









Investment Banks/ Brokers -8% 8% 23% 74% 32%
Verizon Communications Inc.












VZ, -0.35%









Telecommunications -8% 4% 9% 14% 114%
Coca-Cola Co.












KO, -0.84%









Beverages: Non-Alcoholic -8% 14% 13% 17% 95%
U.S. Bancorp












USB, -0.53%









Major Banks -6% 7% 25% 72% 81%
International Business Machines Corp.












IBM, -0.98%









Information Technology Services -6% -4% -8% -18% 48%
Torchmark Corp.












TMK, -1.64%









Life/ Health Insurance -6% 24% 54% 114% 225%
Delta Air Lines Inc.












DAL, -1.62%









Airlines -6% 16% 21% 220% 558%
United Parcel Service Inc. Class B












UPS, -1.51%









Air Freight/ Couriers -6% 7% 20% 50% 104%
Axalta Coating Systems Ltd.












AXTA, -0.77%









Industrial Specialties -4% 19% -1% N/A N/A
Store Capital Corp.












STOR, +0.80%









Real Estate Investment Trusts -3% 11% 36% N/A N/A
Liberty Latin America Ltd. Class C












LILAK, -0.67%









Cable/ Satellite TV -2% N/A N/A N/A N/A
Liberty Latin America Ltd. Class A












LILA, -0.76%









Cable/ Satellite TV -2% N/A N/A N/A N/A
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. ADR












TEVA, -1.77%









Pharmaceuticals -2% -46% -68% -45% -52%
American Express Co.












AXP, -1.44%









Financial Conglomerates -1% 36% 32% 51% 130%
Source: FactSet

So Berkshire’s portfolio hasn’t performed particularly well so far this year, while the S&P 500












SPX, -0.95%










 is down 1% with dividends reinvested. Then again, four months into one year is a very short period for Buffett — as it is for any serious long-term investor.

Here’s how Berkshire’s stock has performed for longer periods against the S&P 500:

Total return – 3 years Total return – 5 years Total return – 10 years
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B 35% 80% 117%
S&P 500 33% 83% 131%
Source: FactSet



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