Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc
In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing detailing its quarterly holdings on U.S. markets, Berkshire reported a 37.7 million share stake worth $1.93 billion in ConocoPhillips as of December 31.
That is about 19.7 million shares, or 34 percent, fewer than it reported in the second-largest U.S. oil company as of September 30. Buffett has admitted to terrible timing in amassing what was once a $7.01 billion stake in Conoco, not anticipating that oil prices would tumble nearly $150 a barrel.
Berkshire also reported a 27.1 million share stake worth about $1.75 billion in drug company Johnson & Johnson, about 9.8 million shares, or 26 percent, below what it reported three months earlier.
Meanwhile, its reported stake in consumer products company Procter & Gamble fell about 8.8 million shares, or 9 percent, to 87.5 million shares worth $5.31 billion. This investment has been among Berkshire's most successful and dates from 1989 when Berkshire bought preferred stock in Gillette Co, the razor blade maker that Procter & Gamble bought in 2005.
The disclosure was made four days after Berkshire completed its roughly $26.4 billion cash-and-stock takeover of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the second-largest U.S. railroad operator.
Buffett has often said he would be sell some stocks if he found other investments he liked better. He does not ordinarily explain purchases and sales revealed in quarterly SEC filings.
Tuesday's SEC filing includes investments made by Berkshire subsidiaries, including a portfolio at the car insurer Geico Corp overseen by Lou Simpson. Buffett has said investors should not assume all the reported investment decisions are his.
Berkshire also reported higher share stakes in Becton Dickinson & Co
It also reported lower share stakes in Carmax Inc
As it previously disclosed, Berkshire also sold its holdings in Norfolk Southern Corp
The value of Berkshire's disclosed portfolio of U.S.-listed equities rose 2 percent from the third quarter to $57.93 billion from $56.55 billion.
Buffett, 79, is the world's second-richest person. He has transformed Berkshire since 1965 into a conglomerate with close to 80 companies selling such things as candy, car insurance, ice cream and underwear.
In Tuesday trading, Berkshire Class A shares closed down $36 at $113,964, and its Class B shares fell 85 cents to $76.05.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon)