New York/Bangalore (Reuters) -In the fourth quarter, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKa) Inc. sold some of its shares in Taiwanese contract chipmaker TSMC and in some banks, but it bought more shares in Apple Inc.
A regulatory filing shows that Berkshire cut its stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) by 86.2%, to 8.29 million sponsored American depositary shares.
About three months ago, Berkshire said it had bought more than $4.1 billion worth of TSMC stock, which sent the shares of the biggest contract chipmaker in the world soaring.
On Tuesday, after U.S. business hours, TSMC depository receipts fell by 4%. As Asian markets opened on Wednesday, TSMC shares opened down 3.3% in Taiwan.
Depositary shares of TSMC have gone up almost 32% this year, closing at $97.96 on Tuesday. The company didn’t respond right away to a request for comment.
“TSMC made a small profit for Berkshire. Analyst at CFRA Research Cathy Seifert said, “It wasn’t a huge, huge win for Berkshire.” She did the math and found that Berkshire bought it for about $68.5 and sold it for $74.5.
Berkshire rarely undoes a multibillion-dollar investment in a company’s stock quickly, but it has happened before. In the first quarter of 2022, Berkshire sold almost all of the $8.3 billion worth of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) shares it had bought in late 2020.
Last month, TSMC said that its revenue for the first quarter is likely to drop by 5% because it is dealing with a global downturn in the chip industry caused by less demand for electronics from consumers. Executives at TSMC have said that they don’t think the market will get better until the second half of the year.
Buffett also sold 91.4% of his shares in US Bancorp (NYSE:USB), which left him with 6.7 million shares. He also cut his stake in BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) by about 60%, leaving him with 25.1 million shares. At today’s prices, both cuts add up to almost $5.5 billion.
Buffett’s business empire also has shares in Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Jefferies.
Berkshire Hathaway cut some of its positions in U.S.-listed companies like Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), the company that makes the “Call of Duty” video game, and Kroger (NYSE: KR).
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) is working hard to finish buying Activision Blizzard. At a closed hearing on February 21, Microsoft will defend the deal in front of antitrust officials from the European Union and the United States.
Apple is one of Berkshire’s few new investments. Buffett sees Apple as more of a consumer goods company. According to the filing, Berkshire bought another 20.8 million Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares for $3.2 billion, bringing its total stake to 5.8%.
This year, Apple stock has gone up by almost 18%.
Berkshire also said that it had bought a new stake in Louisiana-Pacific (NYSE: LPX) Corp. worth $84 million.