By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (N:) said on Friday it has sold shares of some of the largest U.S. banks, slashing its stakes in Wells Fargo & Co (N:) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:) and exiting an investment in Goldman Sachs Group Inc (N:).
In a regulatory filing detailing its U.S.-listed investments as of June 30, Berkshire also disclosed a new 20.9 million share investment worth $563.6 million in Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp (TO:), one of the world’s largest mining companies.
Investors monitor Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s quarterly filings to see where Buffett and his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler see value.
Shares of Barrick have benefited from rising gold prices, which set a record last week, and rose 3.2% in after-hours trading following Berkshire’s disclosure. Barrick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Berkshire reduced its Wells Fargo stake by 26% in the quarter to 237.6 million shares.
Since early 2018, Berkshire has shed more than half of its Wells Fargo shares, which were once worth $32 billion but lost value as the bank was hurt by scandals for mistreating customers. Buffett first invested in Wells Fargo in 1989.
Berkshire also reduced by 62% its stake in JPMorgan, where Combs is a director, to 22.2 million shares, and shed its remaining 1.9 million Goldman shares.
Buffett has not given up on the banking industry, after telling investors in May that banks were well-capitalized and capable of weathering the coronavirus pandemic.
Berkshire still invests in several banks including Bank of America Corp (N:), where in the last month it invested more than $2 billion, giving it an 11.9% stake worth more than $27 billion.
In Friday’s filing, Berkshire said it also exited its investment in Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc (TO:), the parent of Burger King and Tim Hortons.
Berkshire also has more than 90 operating units including the Geico car insurer, BNSF railroad and Dairy Queen ice cream.
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