Buffett dumps Home Depot

Nov 15, 2010

Home Depot can't help Warren Buffett.

Berkshire Hathaway , the Omaha, Neb., company run by the billionaire investor, sold its entire Home Depot stake in the third quarter, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Berkshire held 2.8 million Home Depot shares at June 30 and held as many as 5 million shares over the past decade, but didn’t list the Atlanta-based retailer in its quarter-end holdings.

Berkshire's quarterly filings detailing its investments are closely scrutinized because investors in Berkshire have received 20% compounded annually for more than 40 years, in part due to Buffett's success as a stockpicker.

Berkshire isn’t getting out of the home improvement game altogether. It continues to hold 6.5 million shares of Lowe’s , the North Carolina-based Home Depot rival.

Home Depot isn’t alone in disappearing from Buffett’s portfolio. Berkshire also sold its holdings in auto dealer Carmax , document company Iron Mountain , energy provider NRG and garbage collector Republic Services . The positions Berkshire sold were worth $860 million at June 30.

Meanwhile, Berkshire took a new position in financial custodian Bank of New York Mellon , buying almost 2 million shares worth $52 million at Sept. 30.

Berkshire added to its position in Wells Fargo , the San Francisco bank that is the No. 3 U.S. mortgage player. It bought around 11 million shares during the third quarter, giving it more than 300 million shares.

But Berkshire cut its stake in Moody’s , the credit rating company whose shares Buffett has owned for more than a decade, by 2 million shares to 28 million.

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