Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bet on Kroger

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bet on Kroger

Billionaire Paul Bomeri's company has again increased its bet on the Kroger grocery giant in Wisconsin Buffett's expansion, while scaling back several of its health care industry investments.

In a quarterly update with regulators, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said in Monday it picked up nearly 11 million shares of Kroger stock during the second quarter, raising its holdings to 61.8 million shares. The company of Buffett has been steadily adding to its Kroger holdings in recent quarters.

Berkshire also sold its 643,022 shares of the biotechnology firm Biogen and cut its investments in drugmakers Merck, Abbvie Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. At the same time, Berkshire reported a new 1.6 million shareholding in Merck spinoff Organon Co.

During the quarter, Berkshire sold its nearly 14 million shares of paint producer Axalta Coating Systems to destroy that holding.

Investors follow the company's investments closely because of Buffett's remarkably successful track record.

However, Berkshire officials don't generally comment on these quarterly filings. And the quarterly filing doesn't make clearly which investments Buffett made. The billionaire handles the biggest investments in Berkshire's portfolio of brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Bank of America. He said that investments of less than $1 billion are likely to be the work of Berkshire's two other investment managers.

Carmaker General Motors also reduced its share in Berkshire from 7 million shares to 60 million shares. It also trimmed its holdings in oil producer Liberty Global, professional services firm Marsh McLennan, US Bancorp and oil company Chevron.

The biggest investments in Berkshire's portfolio, Apple and Bank of America, remained unchanged during the second quarter.

Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 90 companies upstream, including the BNSF railway, Geico insurance and several major utilities. The conglomerate also owns manufacturing, furniture, shoe, jewellery, chocolate, underwear and brick companies.