Billionaire Warren Buffett's company reduced its holdings in Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp. during the last three months of 2009, according to documents filed Tuesday.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed those moves and several other changes to its roughly $58 billion U.S. stock portfolio in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The filing offers a snapshot of the Omaha-based company's holdings as of Dec. 31.
Berkshire added to its stakes in Iron Mountain Inc., Becton Dickinson & Co., Republic Services Inc. and Wells Fargo.
But the filing also said Berkshire has received permission from the SEC to omit some information to protect its trading strategy, so the document offers an incomplete picture.
Berkshire regularly asks the Securities and Exchange Commission for the ability not to immediately disclose its holdings when it is making significant investment changes.
Berkshire says the information could hurt its trading strategy because the market likes to follow what the "Oracle of Omaha's" company does.
Berkshire officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon, but they also don't typically comment on their stock holdings beyond what the company is legally required to disclose.
After buying more than 8 million shares of Johnson & Johnson during the first half of 2009, Berkshire sold off 9.8 million shares in the fourth quarter.
So Berkshire held 27.1 million shares of the New Brunswick, N.J.-based drug and medical products maker at the end of the year.
Berkshire sold off 8.8 million shares of consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble during the fourth quarter, leaving Buffett's company with 87.5 million shares.
Berkshire also sharply reduced its holdings in oil producers ConocoPhillips and Exxon. Berkshire held 37.7 million shares of ConocoPhillips on Dec. 31 after selling 19.7 million shares.
The smaller Exxon stake Berkshire first revealed last fall was cut from 1.3 million shares to 421,800 shares at year end.
Berkshire more than doubled its stake in Iron Mountain to 7 million shares of the Boston-based data- and document-storage company.
Berkshire increased its stake in Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Becton Dickinson to 1.5 million shares.
Previously, Berkshire held 1.2 million shares of the maker of medical devices and lab equipment.
Berkshire's investment in Phoenix-based waste hauler Republic Services grew to 8.3 million shares at year end from 3.6 million at the end of September.
Berkshire said in a separate filing Tuesday that it held 342.2 million Wells Fargo shares, giving it control of 6.7 percent of the bank. That's up from the 312.4 million Wells Fargo shares Berkshire held a year ago.
The filings do not differentiate between investments Berkshire makes, investments any of nearly 80 subsidiaries make, or investments Buffett himself makes.
In addition to its investments, Berkshire owns clothing, furniture, jewelry and corporate jet firms, but its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company's revenue.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.