Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Berkshire sells J&J, P&G

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc reduced stakes in health-care company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and consumer products company Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) as he found high-yielding investments elsewhere, and suffered big paper losses by holding onto investments in big U.S. financial companies.

Berkshire (BRKa.N)(BRKb.N) lowered its stake in Johnson & Johnson 54 percent to 28.6 million shares in the three months ended December 31 and reduced its stake in Procter & Gamble by 9 percent to 96.3 million shares.

It also disclosed a new 8.74 million share stake in water treatment services provider Nalco Holding Co (NLC.N), worth $100.8 million as of December 31. Nalco shares rose 6.7 percent after-hours.

Buffett has deployed at least $11.6 billion in the last five months to buy convertible securities, preferred stock and debt issued by General Electric Co (GE.N), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), reinsurer Swiss Re (RUKN.VX), jewelry maker Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) and others, all yielding at least 10 percent.

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