back to article Warren Buffet cashes out of TSMC, which splashes cash on fabs

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sold more than 86 percent of its stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) a mere three months after purchasing $4.1 billion worth of the stock, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing. With more than 50 million shares now sold, the Omaha-based entity retains now around 8.3 …

  1. jmch Silver badge

    Warren Buffet

    "At the time of the purchase in mid-November, TSMC traded at around $72 per share. In February, it traded at around $96. It's unclear exactly when Buffet sold, but he looks to have made hundreds of millions in profit in just one quarter"

    chapeau

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Warren Buffet

      I believed that (although not so sure now) that the SEC doesn’t require Berkshire Hathaway to disclose immediately any large trades. Normally companies and individuals who buy or dispose of stock where they go above or below 10% of the company have to disclose this. The reason they don’t is because of the extraordinary effect Berkshire Hathaway trades have on companies and the market.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Warren Buffet

        Yes, I'd imagine when people like him spend big on a company, that alone will have an effect on the share price, ie it goes up because of his reputation, if he's buying, it must be a good deal. And likewise, when he sells up, "there must be a reason for selling" so confidence and therefore the share price, takes a hit.

        1. NoneSuch Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Warren Buffet

          Warren may have gotten wind of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and decided to take the short term profit and run.

          Time will tell.

    2. tooltalk

      Re: Warren Buffet

      Buffet is not a day-trader -- certainly not a tech trader. He probably recognized that his minions, Todd or Ted, made a grieve mistake and quickly pulled out of TSMC. it would have been fun to watch him explain why his company'd bought TSMC and explain the difference between FinFET and GAAFET.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Warren Buffet

        >explain the difference between FinFET and GAAFET

        Confused FinFET with FinTECH ...?

        1. tooltalk

          Re: Warren Buffet

          Nah, you are just as clueless as Buffet when it comes to chip/transistor technologies. Can't even bother looking it up on Google?

      2. DS999 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Warren Buffet

        I wish I had people working for me making "grievous mistakes" with a 33% return in three months!

        1. tooltalk

          Re: Warren Buffet

          see my other comment. Buffet bought TSMC in 3Q when the stock price was in $77-$90 and sold in 4Q $62-$83 when the stock price was much lower.

          Also note that Buffet's "PURCHASE" in 3Q was "DISCLOSED" in mid-November -- he didn't buy TSMC in November. In another word, he either just broke even or made a tiny profit when he bailed out.

    3. tooltalk

      Re: Warren Buffet

      Also, this article is wrong: the purchase was "reported/disclosed" on Nov 11, but the actual purchase was made and accumulated during 3Q. According to WSJ (Feb. 15, 2023):

      "... Berkshire first disclosed its stake in TSMC on Nov. 14, after having bought $4.1 billion worth of shares in the company by the end of the third quarter. ..."

      And Barron (Feb. 14, 2023):

      "... Berkshire Hathaway (ticker BRK/A, BRK/B) reduced its interest in Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) to 8.3 million shares in the fourth quarter from 60 million shares ..."

      TSMCs stock was in the $77-$90 range during 3Q and $62-$83 during Q4, 2023. It's highly probable that Buffet's minions bought them at peak; then panicked as it sunk to $62 in 4Q. He lost about a 1/3 in the worst possible case or, most likely. just broke even and quickly bailed out. It's foolish of him to go against his own advise he preaches to others: "Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”

  2. goldcd

    It's not a bad problem to have

    "Buffett and Co. don't typically turn over stocks in a hurry, preferring shares with long term growth and revenue prospects."

    "Unfortunately the stock jumped a third to a price we consider to be an over-valued, so with regret we have no option but to offload this over-priced stock for a gargantuan immediate profit"

    1. UCAP Silver badge
      Joke

      But they could make it worse

      "We are re-investing the profits and any other money we find down the back of the sofa into Twitter since it clearly has a highly profitable future ahead of it"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not a bad problem to have

      "Unfortunately the stock jumped a third to a price we consider to be an over-valued, so with regret we have no option but to offload this over-priced stock for a gargantuan immediate profit"

      Reference?

      1. cookieMonster Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: It's not a bad problem to have

        www.sarcasm.net ???

  3. david 12 Silver badge

    A billion here - - a billion there

    I've been on the board of directors of a small outfit. The idea of being on a board of directors allocating billions here and there for staff and investment is just mind boggling.

  4. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Take a massive profit out of a foreign chip manufacturing entity just before a massive cash handout to US based chip manufacturing entities which will massively boost their stock prices ... I wonder where that money will go?

  5. Fenton

    China

    Unless he has had news that China is about to invade Taiwan? Then we can all go home until local Chips fabs come online.

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