We often get asked for information on which companies Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have bought in to, and which companies they own outright.
The known holdings of Berkshire Hathaway are many and varied and some information can be gleaned from their 2011 balance sheet. Whether the holdings shown at that time remain will only be known when the next annual general meeting takes place in 2013. According to Buffett’s annual letter, Berkshire owns or has holdings in the corporations listed below. This list is not exhaustive.
Companies Berkshire Hathaway owns wholly or substantially
- GEICO. Primarily a motor insurance company, has been providing low cost insurance since 1936 and is a big Berkshire cash cow.
- Gen Re. One of the largest re-insurers in the world with an AA+ financial strength rating.
- Princeton Insurance. A leader in professional indemnity and malpractice insurance.
- Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance.
Fuel, power and chemicals
- Mid-American Energy. An energy distribution company based in Iowa with interests in electricity, gas and alternate energy systems.
- Lubrizol. A specialty chemical company, selling in over 100 countries, with a big market in fuel additives and lubricants.
Transport, systems and leasing
- BNSF. The former Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation bought out by Berkshire in 2009, a railway and transporter amongst other things.
- XTRA Lease. This company specializes in leasing semi-trailers and associated heavy machinery.
- McLaneCompany. Provides supply chain solutions for a range of merchants including grocers, druggists, the food industry, the military and chain restaurants. This is the type of business descrIbed by Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat as one of the ten things that are changing and flattening the world.
- NetJets. A world leader in the sale and rental of private planes with a program of fractional ownership for those who want to be Donald Trump but lack his wherewithal.
- Iscar. An Israeli based company that makes precision tools and associated equipment.
- Marmon Holdings. a general manufacturing company, still partly owned by the wealthy Pritzer family.
- CTB Inc. This company makes and distributes farm and agricultural systems all over the world.
- TTI Inc. Manufactures and distributes electrical components, a market leader, and has been doing so for 40 years.
Building, construction and associated
- Clayton Homes. Builder of manufactured and modular homes, the biggest in America, and one of Buffett’s big plays for a recovery in the housing market. (Berkshire has also been buying up home mortgage loans at discount prices from home lenders such as ResCap with surplus mortgage in their portfolio.)
- Acme Brick. This company not only makes a wide variety of bricks and blocks but guarantees them for 100 years. And it seems to have got in early with its domain name.
- Johns Manville is one of the leading makers and distributors of industrial and domestic insulation.
- Mitek. Very big in roofs all over the world.
- Cort Furniture. Cort is a large company that sells and rents office and home furniture.
- Shaw Industries. A corporation that is probably the world’s largest maker of carpets and other floor coverings and surfaces.
- Benjamin Moore. This company has been going strong since 1883 and produces high quality paints and industrial coatings.
Long held treasures
- Nebraska Furniture Mart. This originally family owned company’s store in Omaha is the largest of its kind in the USA, and probably the world, with another huge store in Kansas City of over 450,000 square feet with another store soon to open in Dallas.The story of this family is a Warren Buffett classic and can be found here.
- Borsheim’s Jewelery. This is another classic Buffett company and an Omaha tradition.
- See’s Candy needs no introduction.
- Fruit of the Loom. This is a Buffett favorite which he never hesitates to promote at the Berkshire AGM. An international mercer, particularly in underwear.
Substantial holdings in other companies
According to Buffett’s 2011 letter to shareholders, Berkshire also owns the following percentage of stock in these companies.
- American Express Company 13.0 %
- The Coca-Cola Company 8.8 %
- ConocoPhillips 2.3%
- Johnson & Johnson 1.2%
- Kraft Foods 4.5%
- Munich Re 11.3%
- POSCO 5.1%
- The Procter & Gamble Company 2.6%
- Tesco 3.6%
- U.S. Bancorp 4.1%
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc 1.1%
- Wells Fargo & Company 7.6%
The company also holds preferred stock in IBM and Bank of America.
It is understood that Berkshire Hathaway has now reduced its shareholding in Johnson and Johnson and increased its holdings in both Amex and Wells Fargo.