Warren Buffett’s company deepened its wager on Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.O)

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s (BRKb.N) stake in the online retailing giant rose 11 per in the second quarter, to a value of more than US$1 billion, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. The investment, originally made by one of Buffett’s investing deputies, showed how Berkshire’s view on technology companies has been shifting.

Key Insights

  • Berkshire’s Amazon stake remains far smaller than its investment in Apple Inc., which totaled more than US$49 billion at the end of the second quarter with no change in shares held. Berkshire’s bigger push into technology companies has been driven in part by Buffett deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, one of whom made the original Amazon investment in the first quarter.
  • The banking industry has been a favorite target for Berkshire in recent months. The company boosted its bet on U.S. Bancorp by 2.4 per cent to a stake valued at US$6.9 billion as of June 30. Buffett’s company has been piling into JPMorgan Chase & Co. and expanding its investment in Bank of America Corp. over the past year.
  • Berkshire’s also been a seller. The company cut its investment in Charter Communications Inc. by 5 per cent, leaving the value of the holding at US$2.1 billion at the end of the second quarter, even as the stock surged. The cable company’s shares gained 14 per cent during the quarter.