Warren Buffett Owns These 5 Value Stocks – The Motley Fool

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Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of our time, and his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A -0.62%) (BRK.B -0.63%), regularly beats the S&P 500, a broader benchmark for the market, on annual performance. One of the ways Buffett and Berkshire are able to do so is through Berkshire’s massive $345 billion equities portfolio, from which Buffett and the rest of his team purchase and sell select stocks.
Buffett has long been known as a value investor. He tries to find stocks that are trading below their intrinsic value and that the market missed or simply ignored. Over time, value investors believe these stocks will appreciate nicely as the market wakes up and takes notice.
Considering how successful Buffett has been with this strategy, let’s look at five value stocks the Oracle of Omaha currently owns and see if they have helped his business succeed.
Known as the original start-up out of Silicon Valley, HP (HP -1.08%) has been making computers and printers for decades. While the company may not be seen as the innovator it once was, HP has become a stock that traditional investors have warmed up to for the basic reason that it prints plenty of cash profits and uses that to pay shareholders.
For fiscal 2022, HP is projecting free cash flow of between $3.2 billion and $3.7 billion. The company is also on track to return more than $5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases in the current fiscal year. With an annual dividend yield of close to 3.4%, HP stock trades at just over 5 times earnings.
After investing in nearly every other large U.S. bank over the past few decades, Buffett and Berkshire purchased a nearly 3% stake in the embattled bank Citigroup (C -0.60%) earlier this year. Citigroup is an obvious value play, with its stock trading at just 60% of its tangible book value, or net worth. Shareholders are right to question the stock at the moment after the company has been dealing with regulatory issues regarding its risk management and internal controls, and after years of lagging returns.
But now, CEO Jane Fraser, who took over Citigroup in early 2021, commenced a big transformation plan which includes selling off most of the bank’s international consumer banking operations. This will make the bank simpler and focus on higher-performing businesses. Citigroup still has a lot of work to do, but if management can clean up the regulatory issues and create a more focused operation, getting back to full tangible book value should be quite doable. While Buffett waits, Citigroup is paying an annual dividend yield in excess of 4%.
The multinational food and beverage company Kraft Heinz (KHC 0.23%) is often referred to as Buffett’s biggest mistake. Berkshire teamed up with 3G Capital in 2013 to purchase Heinz for $23 billion. They would eventually merge the company with Kraft in 2015, at which time shares opened around $71.
Today, shares sit at $38, so Berkshire has lost a good deal of money on the investment. Still, Berkshire continues to own more than 26% of the company. Kraft Heinz still has nearly $19.3 billion of long-term debt, but management made some serious progress in reducing that debt, grew free cash flow in recent years, and it also pays more than a 3% dividend yield.
The large digital consumer bank Ally Financial (ALLY -1.52%), which specializes in auto lending, is another bank Buffett is purchasing stock in while its below tangible book value, and which pays an extremely healthy dividend yield of roughly 4.6%. Ally took off during 2020 and 2021, as the chip shortage and lack of auto inventory led to high car prices and huge demand, particularly among vehicles, enabling Ally to strongly grow its retail auto loan book.
But investors are now concerned about loan losses as consumer finances get drained and as many expect a recession next year. Ally is still originating auto loans — and at very high yields — and management seems to be taking a conservative approach to credit. If loan losses don’t exceed management’s built-in expectations, then I’d suspect Berkshire has a winner here.
Berkshire recently unveiled its small purchase of shares in investment bank Jefferies Financial (JEF 0.20%) during the third quarter. Similar to Citigroup and Ally, Jefferies also has an attractive valuation, trading just over tangible book value. The bank also pays out more than a 3% dividend yield.
The broader investment banking sector struggled this year, as equity and debt underwriting significantly slowed down in the face of falling equity valuations and market volatility. But Jefferies is reportedly gaining market share and Berkshire and Jefferies own a mortgage business together, so Berkshire likely got to know management pretty well.
Citigroup is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Ally is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Bram Berkowitz has positions in Citigroup and has the following options: long January 2024 $80 calls on Citigroup. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and Jefferies Financial Group. The Motley Fool recommends The Kraft Heinz Company and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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