The size of the holding, an investment made by one of Buffett’s deputies, gives more clarity to the wager that Buffett disclosed days before his annual shareholder meeting earlier in May. Berkshire also spent the first three months of the year ramping up bets on JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Red Hat Inc., and paring investments in Southwest Airlines Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
The Amazon holding underscores the growing influence of Buffett’s investing deputies, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who have been involved in Berkshire bets on airlines and Apple Inc. Buffett has praised the pair, and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charles Munger has credited the two with bringing “younger eyes" to Berkshire’s strategy. While Buffett has long admired Jeff Bezos, he’s typically steered clear of technology giants, disclosing a stake in Apple just three years ago.
Berkshire has deepened its ties with Amazon in recent years. The companies teamed up with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to form a health-care venture, led by Atul Gawande, that will focus on improving services and costs for their employees. Combs, also a member of JPMorgan’s board, has played a role in the formation of that venture.
Buffett’s company has deepened some of its bets on banks in recent months. Berkshire boosted its wager on PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and its stake in JPMorgan climbed 19% in the first three months of the year to 59.5 million shares valued at $6.02 billion at the end of the quarter.
Berkshire didn’t boost all of its bets on financial firms. Its Wells Fargo holding dropped 4% to 409.8 million shares. The billionaire investor has said he prefers to keep some bets below a 10% ownership threshold, which has sometimes been a driving force in cutting certain stakes.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.