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Berkshire exits Monsanto, continues to cut Phillips 66 stake in Q2

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. continued to trim its stake in Phillips 66 and sold minor amounts of equity holdings in certain banking and airline companies during the second quarter, according to its latest ownership filing.

Chairman, President and CEO Warren Buffett reduced Berkshire's holdings in Phillips 66 by about 24% to 34,729,514 shares, which were worth about $3.90 billion as of June 30. The investor cut its stake in the oil and gas giant by about 44% in the first quarter.

In an earlier statement, Berkshire said it does not want to own more than 10% of a company's shares, "with few exceptions." The "self-imposed limit" caused Berkshire to sell minor amounts of equity holdings in the banking and airlines industries while buying shares of other companies in the same industries.

"These buy and sell decisions did not reflect our investment management's views as to the relative attractiveness of the bought and sold securities but were rather a response to the 10% limitation," Berkshire said.

Berkshire increased its stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. by about 21% to 13,254,490 shares, which were worth about $2.92 billion as of June 30.

Buffett upped Berkshire's stake in U.S. Bancorp by about 11% in the quarter to 100,693,874 shares valued at about $5.04 billion, and also increased Berkshire's investment in Bank of New York Mellon Corp. by about 4% to 64,800,376 shares, which were worth $3.49 billion in the period.

In Wells Fargo & Co., Berkshire cut about 1% of its holdings to 452,013,758 shares in the second quarter.

In airlines, Buffett upped his stake in Southwest Airlines Co. by about 19% to 56,547,399 shares and trimmed his stake in American Airlines Group Inc. by about 3%.

Buffett also dropped his holdings in Monsanto Co. In the beginning of the second quarter, Bayer AG completed its $62.5 billion acquisition of the agricultural chemicals giant.

In Apple Inc., Berkshire increased its holdings by about 5% to 251,955,877 shares, which were worth more than $46.64 billion as of June 30.

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