There were at least two confusing items about Berkshire's just released 13-F filing.
First, as most wire services reported, Warren Buffett "increased" his stake in AAPL from 57.4 million shares as of December 31, to 129.4 million as of March 31 which is technically correct... except, on February 27 CNBC reported that Buffett had boosted his stake in Apple to 133 million shares, making him a top 5 holder.
And since his 13-F revealed a position as of March 31, or more than a month later, it was not clear if Berkshire had boosted his stake by 72 million shares (from Dec. 31), or cut it from 133 million shares (as of February 27). For now there is no conclusive answer.
Even more confusing was a simple human error, when Bloomberg initially reported that Berkshire had taken a stake in distressed rental car company Hertz, which recently crashed on abysmal earnings, sending the stock surging 9%...
- HERTZ GLOBAL JUMPS 9% POST-MARKET ON BERKSHIRE STAKE
... only for Bloomberg to promptly correct its error moments later...
- CORRECT: BERKSHIRE 13F DOES NOT SHOW STAKE IN HERTZ
... and send the stock tumbling back to unchanged.
Confusion aside, what did Buffett do in the first quarter? Not that much, as is usually the case for the billionaire investor Buffett: Berkshire exited just one position - his entire holding in Twenty-Century Fox.
And while there were no new positions, Berkshire added (or cut) its AAPL position (see above), and also boosted stakes in BK, LUV, SIRI and AAL. On the other hand, as was noted previously, he cut his IBM position by 20% to 64.6 million shares, and also trimmed his positions in DAL and WBC.
In total, Buffett's 42 disclosed long stock positions amounted to $162 billion as of March 31.
The full breakdown is below.