Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA)
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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB) took a stake in MasterCard Inc. (MA) in the first quarter, while Steven Cohen's SAC Capital increased stakes in retail and consumer services companies, according to a pair of regulatory filings on Monday.
Berkshire Hathaway, one of the world's most closely followed investment vehicles, disclosed it held 216,000 MasterCard shares. The holding, which comes as a new investment manager took over a chunk of the company's $53.6 billion equity portfolio, is valued at about $60 million based on Monday's closing share price.
Cohen, whose SAC Capital reported a 9.3% increase in securities holdings in the quarter ended March 31, increased a stake in consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. (BBY) to 2.3 million shares from 53,306 at the end of the previous quarter. SAC also more than doubled its stake in BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. (BJ) to 2.8 million shares from 1.1 million.
The disclosures are part of a quarterly filing requirement for investors who manage more than $100 million. The form, known as a 13F, must be filed within 45 days of the end of each quarter and many money managers wait until the last possible moment to submit their filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filings give the public its freshest possible glimpse into the portfolios of well-known money managers.
In addition to Buffett and Cohen, billionaire activist Carl Icahn disclosed his holdings on Monday. Among them: a new stake in Amgen Inc. (AMGN), in which he purchased more than 1 million shares for his Icahn Capital LP fund. He also purchased 186,154 shares in energy distribution company Southern Union Co. (SUG).
As previously disclosed, Icahn increased his stake in Dynegy Inc. (DYN), and in March, had two of his nominated directors named to the board.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy, ended the quarter with total stock holdings of $15.5 billion, a 2.6% increase since its last filing for the period ending in December.
The philanthropy, created by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) cofounder Bill Gates and his wife, held stakes in the same 28 companies it reported last period, but it adjusted its holdings in just a few. It sold B shares in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and increased its holdings of Coca-Cola Femsa SAB (KOF) and Ecolab Inc. (ECL). The largest holding in the trust is 89 million B shares of Berkshire Hathaway with a value of $7.15 billion.
The Gates Foundation uses the wealth to improve education in the U.S. and elsewhere, to end polio, to continue work on vaccines for diseases such as malaria, and to save the youngest and most vulnerable children in the world.
Investor Nelson Peltz reported no new holdings through his Trian Partners investment funds in the first quarter after taking on a new stake in Kellogg Co. (K) at the end of last year.
Trian had $9.4 billion invested, same as at the end of December. Trian Partners requested confidential treatment for some of its holdings.
David Tepper's Appaloosa Management reported total holdings fell 14% from the previous quarter to $4.21 billion on March 31. Tepper reduced his holdings in banks, a notable move since he aggressively boosted his bets in the sector in late 2010, cutting his stake in Citigroup Inc. (C) by 35% and Well Fargo & Co. (WFC) by 59%.
Tepper also initiated positions in several home-building and energy companies.
Third Point LLC, run by hedge fund manager Dan Loeb, added consumer and energy names, including department store chain Big Lots Inc. (BIG) and Tesoro Corp. (TSO), according to its filing. The hedge fund manager, who started accumulating both physical gold and gold-related holdings late last year, added to shares in exchange-traded SPDR Gold Trust (GLD). His gold ETF stake was worth $31.5 million.
Berkshire said it had omitted some information on its holdings in the filing, an action some investment managers take when they're building a new position.
The addition of MasterCard to the portfolio could be the work of Todd Combs, the former hedge-fund manager who was tapped by Buffett to manage a portfolio of about $2 billion to $3 billion at Berkshire. Combs was selected as the company prepares for the day the 80-year-old Buffett will no longer run Berkshire.
Berkshire also disclosed a reduced stake in oil producer ConocoPhillips (COP), trimming the holding less than 1% to about 29 million shares.
SAC raised its stakes in insurers; Chubb Corp. (CB) holdings were up to 2.3 million shares from 24,198, while XL Group PL (XL) holdings were at 4.4 million shares from 239,564.
-By Erik Holm and Liz Moyer, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2892; firstname.lastname@example.org
--Steven D. Jones, Roger Cheng, Thomas Gryta and Amy Or contributed to this story.