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Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, in Omaha, Nebraska, May 6, 2018.

RICK WILKING/Reuters

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc Berkshire Hathawaysaid on Monday it has begun investing in the stocks of four large drugmakers.

In a regulatory filing detailing its U.S.-listed investments as of Sept. 30, Berkshire disclosed new stakes in Abbvie Inc , Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Merck & Co of more than US$1.8-billion each, and a new US$136-million stake in Pfizer Inc.

Investors monitor Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s quarterly filings to see where Buffett and his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler see value.

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Shares of the four drugmakers rose in after-hours trading, which often occurs when Berkshire discloses new investments, reflecting what investors view as Buffett’s imprimatur.

Berkshire did not say whether Buffett made the investments, though larger investments are normally his.

The investments look similar to the multibillion-dollar stakes that Berkshire recently maintained in the four largest U.S. airlines, before selling them in April amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Berkshire also said it cut its stake in Barrick Gold Corp. by 42.6 per cent to 12 million shares. The company disclosed in a filing this past August that it bought 21 million shares of Barrick for about US$564-million in the second quarter of this year. The move surprised several investors and sparked a rally in Barrick shares at the time, as Buffett had been earlier quite critical of gold, saying it wasn’t as good of an investment as businesses, farms and real estate.

Berkshire on Monday also said it reduced its stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co by 95.6 per cent to 967,236 shares, and revealed a new US$276-million stake in wireless phone company T-Mobile US Inc.

With a file from staff

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