Warren Buffett Dumps Stake in Bank of America, Comcast, Nike, Lowe's

Warren BuffettWarren Buffett's company sold off several of the smaller investments in its $53 billion U.S. stock portfolio during the fourth quarter, including Bank of America (BAC), Comcast (CMCSA), Nike (NKE), and Lowe's (LOW).

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. revealed a number of changes in its holdings Monday in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The documents list the U.S. stocks Berkshire held on Dec. 31, but don't offer any explanation for changes in the holdings, which might be tied to the retirement of one of Berkshire's investment managers.

Officials at the Omaha-based company Buffett leads as chairman and CEO said no one was immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, but they don't typically comment on the company's stock holdings beyond what it is legally required to disclose.

Monday's filing does not differentiate between investments Berkshire makes, investments any of roughly 80 subsidiaries make, or investments Buffett himself makes.

It's not clear whether the changes in Berkshire's portfolio were linked to the retirement of Lou Simpson at the end of 2010. Simpson ran investments for one of Berkshire's biggest insurers, Geico, and he was one of the few people at Berkshire not named Buffett who was making investment decisions.

Buffett has said that Simpson's investments were usually between $200 million and $300 million, and all of the investments eliminated in the fourth quarter fit that description.

Berkshire sold off 5 million shares of Bank of America Corp., 187,000 Comcast Corp. shares, 6.5 million Lowe's Cos. shares and 3.6 million shares of Nike Inc.

Berkshire also unloaded 1.9 million shares of Becton, Dickinson & Co. (BDX), 3.9 million shares of Fiserv Inc. (FISV), 6.1 million shares of Nalco Holding Co. (NLC) and 3.4 million shares of Nestle (NSRGY).

And Berkshire reduced its stake in Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) just three months after it revealed a new investment of nearly 2 million shares in the bank. At year end, Berkshire held 1.79 million shares of BNY Mellon.

Besides investments, Berkshire owns more than 80 different subsidiaries, including clothing, insurance, furniture, utility, jewelry and corporate jet companies.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to ETFs

The basics of Exchange Traded Funds and why ETFs are hot.

View Course »

Investing in Emerging Markets

Learn to invest in a globalized world.

View Course »