Buffett’s Big Pharma Bets for Pandemic Recovery

By Timothy Sykes

Last updated on February 2, 2021
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Legendary investor Warren Buffett has bet billions on four large pharmaceutical companies amid the pandemic.

Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A & BRK-B) quarterly filings revealed several new positions.

The most notable was a new stake worth $136 million in drugmaker Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), which revealed last week its vaccine candidate was 90% effective against the COVID-19 virus.

Other positions include AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). Buffett put about $1.8 billion into each of those companies.

Don’t look for Buffett to sell these shares anytime soon. His favorite investment period is forever.

But since the pandemic began, he’s altered his strategy — including dumping all his airline stocks near the beginning of the outbreak. Some, including President Trump, criticized this move.

Here a few other notable transactions from the disclosure:

  • Sold 36 million shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), about 4% of total shares. This is still the portfolio’s large position.
  • Bought shares of T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS).
  • Sold some of his positions in banks Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM).
  • Added more Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) to an existing position.
  • Sold all shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) after holding for a decade.

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Comments (1)
Author imageTimothy Sykes
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