Buffett Sells Down Energy Stocks, Pours Into Defensives

warren buffett astrid

Warren Buffett substantially reduced his exposure in both ConocoPhillips (COP) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) during the fourth quarter of last year based on new regulatory filings.

Meanwhile he continued to bulk up Iron Mountain, Republic Services, and Wal-Mart, among other stocks.

Out with the energy and in with the defensives:


Mr. Buffett continued reducing his stake in ConocoPhillips Co., an investment he has called a mistake. This time he shaved almost 20 million shares, to 37.7 million shares at the end of December from the end of the third quarter.

Mr. Buffett also reversed direction on his holdings of Exxon Mobil Corp., cutting his stake to 421,800 shares at December 31 from the 1.23 million he reported at the end of September. Mr. Buffett reported that he had first owned shares of Exxon Mobil as of June 30.

Two big changes were to more than double his holdings in document and information management company Iron Mountain Inc. to seven million shares at the end of the year, and to more than double his holdings of Republic Services Inc. to 8.3 million shares, from 3.6 million at the end of September. Mr. Buffett added more than one million shares to his Wal-Mart Stores Inc. holdings, to 37.8 million at year end.

Mr. Buffett had already doubled his Wal-Mart holdings in the third quarter.

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