Buffett scores big with stake in Activision

Buffett scores big with stake in Activision

Buffett scores big with stake in Activision

Warren Buffett’s company placed a rare bet on a technology company late last year and it has already paid off in a big way.

Berkshire Hathaway revealed in documents filed with regulators on Feb. 14 that it bought near 15 million shares in game publisher Activision Blizzard during the last three months of 2021.

The purchase came not long before Microsoft’s announcement in January that it was acquiring Activision for $68.7 billion, sending the stock soaring. Activision’s shares are up 22.5 percent so far this year.

Berkshire estimated that its 14.7 million shares in Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, were worth roughly $975 million at the end of 2021. At the close of trading on Feb. 14, they were worth $1.19 billion.

The investment by Buffett’s firm was a surprising move by the famously tech-averse investor. Buffett has long avoided investing in tech companies because he says it is too hard for him to pick the long-time winners in that sector.

The other changes to Berkshire’s roughly $330 billion portfolio revealed on Feb. 14 were more typical for Buffett, such as increasing an investment in oil giant Chevron, eliminating a stake in Teva Pharmaceuticals and trimming its investments in several other drugmakers.

Buffett and other Berkshire officials don’t comment on these quarterly stock filings, and the reports don’t state whether either one of Berkshire’s two other investment managers made the moves.

Buffett typically handles all the company’s larger investments worth more than $1 billion apiece such as its major stakes in Apple, Bank of America and Coca-Cola, so the size of the Activision Blizzard investment suggests Buffett made that decision.