Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has sold another 1.35 million shares of credit ratings company Moody's Corp., extending a series of sales that began in the middle of 2009.
The latest sales took place between Sept. 10 and 14 at prices between $25.10 and $25.22 per share, generating gross proceeds of about $34 million, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Berkshire still controls 29.43 million Moody's shares, or 12.6 percent, but that is down from 13.2 percent before the sales. That is also down from the 48 million shares, or close to 20 percent, that Berkshire had held between 2000 and July 2009, when it began reducing its stake.
The remaining 29.43 million shares are owned by Berkshire's National Indemnity Co. insurance unit or its Geico Corp. auto insurance unit, Tuesday's filing shows.
Moody's has been faulted for its ratings, which critics say contributed to the global financial crisis. Buffett has said the company and rivals enjoy a good business model that requires low capital investment.
Testifying in June before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Buffett said rating agencies and others had been lulled by the "narcotic" of seemingly ever-increasing home prices, and that he had been no more prescient.
"It was the granddaddy of all bubbles," Buffett, now 80 and the world's third-richest person, said at the time.
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