Colin Barr

Following the money in banking, economics, and Washington

Buffett dumps Home Depot

November 15, 2010: 4:50 PM ET

Home Depot can't help Warren Buffett.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), the Omaha, Neb., company run by the billionaire investor, sold its entire Home Depot stake in the third quarter, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Buffett says bye-bye

Berkshire held 2.8 million Home Depot (HD) shares at June 30 and held as many as 5 million shares over the past decade, but didn't list the Atlanta-based retailer in its quarter-end holdings.

Berkshire's quarterly filings detailing its investments are closely scrutinized becauseĀ investors in Berkshire haveĀ received 20% compounded annually for more than 40 years, in part due to Buffett's success as a stockpicker.

Berkshire isn't getting out of the home improvement game altogether. It continues to hold 6.5 million shares of Lowe's (LOW), the North Carolina-based Home Depot rival.

Home Depot isn't alone in disappearing from Buffett's portfolio. Berkshire also sold its holdings in auto dealer Carmax (KMX), document company Iron Mountain (IRM), energy provider NRG (NRG) and garbage collector Republic Services (RSG). The positions Berkshire sold were worth $860 million at June 30.

Meanwhile, Berkshire took a new position in financial custodian Bank of New York Mellon (BK), buying almost 2 million shares worth $52 million at Sept. 30.

Berkshire added to its position in Wells Fargo (WFC), the San Francisco bank that is the No. 3 U.S. mortgage player. It bought around 11 million shares during the third quarter, giving it more than 300 million shares.

But Berkshire cut its stake in Moody's (MCO), the credit rating company whose shares Buffett has owned for more than a decade, by 2 million shares to 28 million.

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About This Author
Colin Barr
Colin Barr
Senior Writer, Fortune

Colin Barr has covered finance for Fortune.com since November 2007. Previously he was a writer and editor for TheStreet.com, winning a 2006 Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street," and for Dow Jones Newswires. He is a 1991 graduate of Penn State and lives in Port Washington, N.Y., with his wife Meena Bose and their two kids.

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