Tweedy, Browne, a well-regarded investment firm, just released
its first quarter portfolio. The firm's managers bought no new
stocks in the first quarter of 2012, but added to seven
positions, the largest of which are: Akzo Nobel Nv (
), Berkshire Hathaway (
), Total SA (
). They made smaller additions to holdings Emerson Electric Co. (
), Vodafone Group Plc (
) and Johnson & Johnson (
Tweedy, Browne are investors who seek investments at 40 percent
to 50 percent discount to their intrinsic value. Once an
investment approaches their estimate of intrinsic value, they
sell to reinvest the proceeds into stocks trading at greater
The firm nearly doubled their holding of
Akzo Nobel Nv (
, in the first quarter of 2012 after its price dropped to an
average of $18 a share in the first quarter from an average of
$35 in the previous quarter. They bought 283,941 shares. Prior to
this recent purchase,
had been reducing its holding of Akzo almost every quarter from
at least the second of 2007.
Akzo Nobel, headquartered in the Netherlands, operates in
selected areas of healthcare products, coatings, chemical and
fibers, and is the No. 1 paints and coatings company worldwide.
Akzo Nobel Nv has a market cap of $12.61 billion; its shares were
traded at around $16.55 with a P/E ratio of 16 and P/S ratio of
0.6. The dividend yield of Akzo Nobel Nv stocks is 5.4%. Akzo
Nobel Nv had an annual average earnings growth of 2.7% over the
past 10 years.
Akzo's stock price dropped from $50 to $16.55 in early January
2012 due to a 3:1 stock split on its ADR.
's second-largest move was to add 237,185 shares to its
Berkshire Hathaway (
holding at an average price of $79 a share. At the end of the
quarter, the firm held a total of 424,868 shares of the company,
a 1.2 percent weighting in their portfolio.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a holding company owning subsidiaries
engaged in a number of diverse business activities. Berkshire
Hathaway has a market cap of $199.1 billion; its shares were
traded at around $81.59 with a P/E ratio of 14.5 and P/S ratio of
1.8. Berkshire had an annual average earnings growth of 17.5%
over the past 10 years.
In the last year, Berkshire Hathaway's stock has held
approximately flat, increasing 0.87 percent. Year to date it has
increased almost 7 percent.
On May 4, Berkshire announced strong financial results for the
first quarter 2012. Operating earnings jumped from $1.6 billion
the previous year to $2.7 billion. Earnings doubled from $1.5
billion to $3.25 billion. The results were helped by a return to
profitability for its insurance-underwriting business, which
suffered massively amid the multiple natural disasters of 2011.
In this segment in 2011 Berkshire had a net loss of $821 billion;
in 2012, it had net income of $54 million.
increased its holding of
Total S.A. (
62 percent in the first quarter, adding 136,698 shares at an
average price of $54 a share, for a total holding at quarter-end
of 355,608 shares.
opened the position in the second quarter of 2011 at an average
price of $58.
Total S.A. engages in worldwide oil and gas production, other
upstream, RM&T and an expanding multi-national specialty
chemicals business. Total S.A. has a market cap of $114.34
billion; its shares were traded at around $44.65 with a P/E ratio
of 6.8 and P/S ratio of 0.5. The dividend yield of Total S.A.
stocks is 6.8%. Total S.A. had an annual average earnings growth
of 12.1% over the past 10 years. GuruFocus rated Total S.A. the
business predictability rank of 4-star.
In their first-quarter investor letter, Tweedy Browne noted that
Total was one of the stocks, "We also took advantage of trading
opportunities to add to our positions in." They also said, "As
was the case at year-end, very few of our stocks disappointed for
the quarter. However, while their underlying businesses continued
to make progress, we had negative returns in pharmaceuticals
) and Novartis (
). The same held for a few of our oil stocks including Royal
) and Total (
)." Total S.A.'s ADR sank 25 percent in the last year and 12.6
percent year to date. Total, based in France, is susceptible to
tremors from European political events.
In February, Total released its 2011 annual result. Net income
increased 11 percent in euros to 12.3 euros compared to the
"The successful start-up of the Pazflor field in Angola was the
crowning achievement of an important year for Total. This
start-up and the ones to follow will ensure a return to
production growth in 2012 and the years to come. All the segments
realized notable advances, including a bolder exploration program
that yielded three giant discoveries in 2011, the formation of a
new, more competitive structure for the Downstream, and the
further strengthening of leading positions in LNG and
deep-offshore. Finally, the increased asset sales and acquisition
activity in 2011 continued to demonstrate the dynamic rebalancing
of the portfolio in favor of Upstream assets with strong growth
potential," said chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie.
See more of the latest stock buys and sells by Tweedy, Browne
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