As Activision Blizzard’s proposed merger with Microsoft runs into roadblocks, Warren Buffett has cut Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in the video-game maker by 70%, according to a filing this week that is cited in an article in Bloomberg. While Activision stock has gained 19% this year, the potential Microsoft merger has brought the company under antitrust scrutiny, prompting Buffett to pull back on the substantial position he took when the deal was first announced.
In addition to Activision, Berkshire reduced its position in Chevron and sold its stake in insurance broker Marsh McLennan, selling about $7.98 billion more in equities than it purchased. The purchases Berkshire did make were focused in the home-building sector, with new positions in homebuilders NVR Inc., Lennar Corp., and D.R. Horton Inc., according to the filing. All three of those companies are up at least 30% so far this year, with increased demand for new homes amid an intense shortage of existing-home sales, Bloomberg reports.
Though Buffett’s strategy has long been to buy shares and hold them “forever,” recently Berkshire has been unloading stocks much quicker after buying them than in the past. In 2022, Berkshire touted its purchase of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shares, then sold most of them off only months later. In that case, Buffett cited geopolitical tensions in Taiwan as the major driver of the decision to sell rather than any fault with the company, which he spoke highly of at Berkshire’s annual meeting in May, according to Bloomberg.