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Buffett cuts Wells Fargo stake in Q4'17


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Buffett cuts Wells Fargo stake in Q4'17

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. slightly lowered its stake during the fourth quarter of 2017 in one of its most noteworthy investments, Wells Fargo & Co., according to the company's latest ownership filing.

Chairman, President and CEO Warren Buffett sold 6 million shares, or 1.31% of its investment in the bank. The Federal Reserve took unprecedented action against Wells Fargo in early February. In response to widespread consumer abuses and other compliance breakdowns, the regulator capped the company's asset size to its year-end 2017 levels and required improved board oversight.

Berkshire held 458,232,268 Wells Fargo shares worth $27.80 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017.

The company's newest investment in the fourth quarter of 2017 came in the form of 18,875,721 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. shares, valued at $357.7 million as of the end of the quarter.

Buffett also cut the company's stake in International Business Machines Corp. by 94.47% to 2,048,045 shares. This came on the heels of another big selloff in the third quarter of 2017. The reduced stake in IBM was worth $314.2 million as of Dec. 31, 2017. At the end of third quarter 2017, Berkshire owned 37,026,698 shares of IBM valued at $5.37 billion.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Buffett increased the company's investment in Bank of New York Mellon Corp. by 17.41% to 60,818,783 shares, which was worth about $3.28 billion at the close of the year.

Buffett also increased the company's stake in technology giant Apple Inc. by 31,241,180 shares in the quarter. The company owned 165,333,962 Apple shares, worth about $27.98 billion as of Dec. 31, 2017.

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