Warren Buffet recently unloaded some shares of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp. Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. dumped nearly 500,000 shares of U.S. Bank in sales on May 11 and 12, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week.
The sales reaped $16.3 million for 497,786 shares. Maybe for the average investor that would be a lot of stock, but not for Buffett. The sales represent less than 1 percent of Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings in the Minneapolis-based Fortune 500 bank. It’s unclear if the sales are a signal that Berkshire Hathaway plans to sell more U.S. Bank stock in the future.
After the sales, Berkshire Hathaway still owns 149.6 million shares of U.S. Bancorp. Based on Monday’s closing price of $32.96 per share, Berkshire’s remaining U.S. Bancorp holdings are worth more than $4.9 billion. Prior to the recent sales, U.S. Bancorp’s proxy identified Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway as the bank’s largest shareholder, owning 9.8 percent of its common stock.
Buffett, often hailed as the greatest investor of modern times, has been selling some blocks of stocks amid the latest market tumult. Buffett sold off all of Berkshire’s holdings in four airline stocks during the first quarter: Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines.
Berkshire Hathaway also sold more than 10 million shares of New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the first quarter, leaving its holdings at 1.9 million shares.
Berkshire Hathaway reported a loss of $49.7 billion for the first quarter, as the broad market selloff hit the company’s large investment holdings. Berkshire Hathaway ranks as the sixth largest public company in the U.S. with revenue of $254.6 billion.
Last month, U.S. Bank reported a 31 percent year-over-year drop in net income in its first quarter.