Berkshire Hathaway’s equity portfolio underwent significant changes during the fourth quarter of 2010 due to Lou Simpson’s retirement from GEICO. Although most media reports attribute Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio moves exclusively to Warren Buffett, a significant portfolio has long been managed by Mr. Simpson. Read this article for more details.
According to an article in The Chicago Tribune, Lou Simpson is planning to retire from GEICO at the end of 2010. Mr. Simpson is President and CEO of Capital Operations. Tony Nicely is Chairman, President, and CEO of GEICO’s insurance operations. Like other Berkshire Hathaway insurance subsidiaries, insurance underwriting operations and investment decisions are handled separately with Mr. Simpson having broad autonomy over GEICO’s investment portfolio.
Value investors typically maintain a long term focus but it is a rare to find anyone who entirely ignores quarterly results. The second quarter was ugly with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 10 percent and the S&P 500 falling 11.9 percent. Berkshire Hathaway’s equity portfolio was not immune from the negative sentiment with an estimated decline of 10.6 percent (excluding dividends), which essentially mirrors the fall in the broad market. Read this post for more details.
During the third quarter, Berkshire made further purchases of Exxon Mobil and also initiated positions in Nestle, Republic Services, and The Travelers Companies. Berkshire closed out positions in the Eaton Corporation and Wabco Holdings while reducing its stake in Conoco Phillips, Moody’s, NRG Energy, Sun Trust Bank, and WellPoint. Read this article for more details and estimates for performance in Q4 so far.
I was unable to analyze Berkshire Hathaway’s 13-F SEC filing in a timely manner over the past weekend and in the meantime a number of articles have appeared regarding changes in Berkshire’s portfolio for the quarter ended June 30, 2009. Read this article for some links to reports regarding Berkshire’s latest 13-F filing.