Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) Warren Buffett gets a lot of attention for any move he makes, with his stock purchases being viewed as a tacit approval of a company and often bringing a boost in share value. Buffett was active last year, making several very large, very public investments in 2011. And, while Buffett's own MO would indicate that it's still far too soon to start seriously scrutinizing those buys, curiosity still pushes one to recount some of Buffett's biggest 2011 buys and see how they're doing now.
International Business Machines (IBM)
The release of Berkshire Hathaway's Q3 earnings report revealed that Buffett went on a major buying spree in August of 2011, making $23.9 billion in new investments. The biggest of these was the $10.7 billion stake he purchased in IBM, representing 5.4 percent portion of the company. Buffett highlighted the relative stability of IBM and the strength of its brand over decades. So how's it look now? Well, Buffett has seen the computer giant gain 11.5 percent since his August purchase of the company, meaning the 57 million or so share that he purchased for an average price of $173.05 a share are now worth almost $193 a share and Buffett's already made $1.23 billion on the investment.
Bank of America (BAC)
Last August was a busy time for Buffett, as he also stepped in with a $5 billion investment for the ailing Bank of America (BAC). Buffett, who has since stated that he felt the ratio of GDP to total equity value made him bullish about equities, saw a chance to buy stock in the massive bank at a discount because of its continued struggles. The investment spiked initially (perhaps because of Buffett's public investment) before declining sharply. Were one to have asked how Buffett's initial investment was looking on the Monday before Christmas of last year, they would have found that it had declined some 28.68 percent. That would have meant a $1.1 billion loss on Buffett's stock holding.
That, though, was then. Since the start of the year, relative optimism about the European debt crisis and a general bull-run by the markets have pushed Bank of America into a strong rally. Today? Buffett's initial investment is up over 16 percent, meaning a profit of some $815.5 million on his initial buy.
Among the other big buys Buffett made last year was chip-maker Intel, snapping up 9,333,000 shares at an average of $21.45 per share, a $200 million investment. Intel's gained 25 percent since the purchase, meaning that Buffett's stake is worth an additional $50 million.
Buffett snapped up about 2.3 million shares for an average of $87.24 a share. The stock has since gained about 24 percent, meaning that Buffett's initial investment of about $200 million is already worth 48 million more.
CVS Caremark (CVS)
The drug store giant got some interest from Buffett to the tune of 5,661,000 shares at $35.73 per share on average. This $202 million investment has gained 22 percent since, meaning Buffett is already up $44.5 million.
HA! Finally! A miss! Who's the legendary investing expert now?! Buffett has lost money on one of his new positions from August of 2011, his purchase of the satellite television company. Shares in DIRECTV, of which he bought 4,249,000 at an average of $46.32 apiece, are down...3 percent. Meaning Buffett's clearly feeling the hurt as the investment is already worth about $6 million less than its purchase price.
Too Soon to Tell
On the whole, Buffett isn't about to start selling to take profits. How a stock is doing six months out is most likely a far smaller concern for Buffett than how it's doing six years out, but, in the short term, Buffett certainly can't be upset with how his most recent purchases are doing.
*Data pulled from gurufocus.com
DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer