Billionaire investor Warren Buffett more than doubled his holdings in retailer Wal-Mart during the quarter ending Sept. 30, according to the latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal regulatory agency.
In government filings, Berkshire Hathaway reported that its stake in Wal-Mart rose to 37.8 million shares from the 19.9 million shares he reported holding at the end of June.
Here’s what Buffett sees that other investors don’t: Wal-Mart shares may soon start moving in line with the broader stock market. Since the start of November, its shares are up approximately 6 percent, about the same as the S&P, reports The Dow Jones Newswire.
What’s more, with U.S. unemployment at 10.2 percent and forecast to be at that level, or higher, for the foreseeable future, it would seem sound to be long on the giant discount retailer. But through much of the run-up since the March lows of the markets, more glamorous shares have caught the attention of investors.
Since the March 9 closing lows, the S&P 500 is up roughly 54 percent through the start of November. During the same time frame, Wal-Mart shares were up just 6 percent. That discrepancy, however, is alluring to the sage of Omaha.
Black Friday is approaching — the shopping day after Thanksgiving Day — and the discount retailer is expected to generate a sales coup with shoppers flocking there.
A number of Web sites have emerged reporting on the latest deals at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and other discounters, which will help drive sales too.
In addition, Wal-Mart seems poised to finally realize a dominant role in online sales, as evidenced by its firefights of late with Amazon over book prices.
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