Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway dumped most of its holdings in Goldman Sachs, which fell 84% to 1.9 million shares as of March 31, from 12 million at year-end and 18.4 million in September last year. The selling appears to have begun after Goldman's stock price fell about 33% during the quarter due to the global pandemic's impact on financial markets.
Ironically, Buffett had assured that the banking sector was not a "primary worry" for him during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Doug Kass, managing partner at Seabreeze Capital Investment Inc, called the Goldman stock sale "not surprising," Reuters reported.
"If problems become severe enough in an economy, even strong banks can be under a lot of stress, and we'll be very glad we've got the Federal Reserve system standing behind them. Overall the banking system is not going to be the problem. They are not a primary worry of mine at all," Buffett had said.
Berkshire trims other investments
Goldman Sachs isn't the only firm where Buffett's firm sold its stake. Berkshire sold off its remaining stocks in the insurer Travelers Cos and oil refiner Phillips 66. Additionally, the firm trimmed its investment in JP Morgan & Chase by 3 percent and in Amazon by a small margin of 0.7 percent, Bloomberg reported.
Berkshire did, however, increase its bet in PNC Financial Services Group, boosting its holdings by more than 500,000 shares to roughly 9.2 million. Berkshire remains a major shareholder in American Express, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Financial, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo.