Warren Buffett Isn’t Perfect And Is Losing Big On 6 Stocks, Too

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Warren Buffett is having a good year with S&P 500 stocks — mostly — it’s his kind of market after all. But he’s suffering from his fair share of blowups, too.

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Six of the top holdings in Berkshire Hathaway‘s (BRKB) U.S.-listed positions are down a crushing 35% or more this year, including financial firm Nu Holdings (NU), technology play Snowflake (SNOW) and consumer discretionary General Motors (GM), says an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith.

It’s true Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is up more than 12% this year. That blows away the 14% drop in that time by the S&P 500. But it’s also important to note that 21 of Berkshire’s 50 U.S.-listed positions, or more than 40%, are lagging the S&P 500 on the year. And some by a large margin.

“Warren Buffett is one investor who has bucked the conventional approach of many investors and consistently used weakness as an opportunity,” said Bespoke Investment Group. “His actions in the first quarter were a perfect example.”

Looking At Buffett’s Losers

Buffett is knocking the cover off the ball with some of his big energy bets. But some of those homeruns are masking his misfires.

What’s Buffett’s biggest bummer of a stock? It’s cloud-computing software company Snowflake. Shares are down more than 57% this year alone.  It’s not a big position for Berkshire, which owns just a $970 million position in the stock. Compare that with the massive $131 billion stake Berkshire has in its largest holding, Apple (AAPL). Berkshire Hathaway only owns 2% of Snowflake’s shares outstanding. It’s important to note, too, that Apple shares are down nearly 16% this year, or worse than the S&P 500.

And it’s a similar story in a sector that’s more typical of a Warren Buffett stock: financials. Nu Holdings, a digital financial company operating mostly in South America, isn’t working out this year, either. It offers credit and debit cards in many emerging markets nations like Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. But shares of Nu Holdings are down more than 56% in this rough year so far. That’s much worse than Berkshire Hathaway’s average 7.9% loss on all its U.S.-listed positions.

GM: A Painful S&P 500 Warren Buffett Stock

Automaker GM is one of Buffett’s most notable misfires this year, too. It’s his only big position valued more than $2 billion that’s down 35% or more this year.

It’s been a rough ride for GM investors this year. Shares are off 35% as investors worry about the costs of morphing the company into an electric vehicle maker. The company’s profits are seen dropping nearly 1% this year and another nearly 3% in 2023. Again, it’s not a huge position for Berkshire Hathaway, amounting for just 4% of the company.

But for now, Berkshire Hathaway investors would like to focus on the winners. And there are some big ones. Berkshire Hathaway’s $9.2 billion position in oil company Occidental Petroleum (OXY) has more than doubled this year already. Buffett owns more than 15% of the company. And his $26.7 billion stake in Chevron (CVX) is up nearly 50% this year.

With winners like those, you won’t hear many complaints about the S&P 500 losers.

Worst Warren Buffett Stocks This Year So Far

More than 40% of Berkshire Hathaway’s U.S.-listed positions are lagging the S&P 500

Company Symbol Value of position ($ millions) Sector Stock year-to-date % ch.
Snowflake (SNOW) $970.0 Information Technology -57.0%
Nu Holdings (NU) 516.3 Financials -56.5
StoneCo (STNE) 93.3 Information Technology -47.2
Floor & Decor (FND) 341.6 Consumer Discretionary -44.5
RH (RH) 628.5 Consumer Discretionary -44.3
General Motors (GM) 2,370 Consumer Discretionary -35.0
Sources: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz

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