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Berkshire Takes Stakes in Visa, Intel as Combs Buys Shares

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took stakes in CVS Caremark Corp., Intel Corp. and Visa Inc. as investment manager Todd Combs builds his portfolio.

Buffett’s firm also had holdings of DirecTV and General Dynamics Corp., the maker of Gulfstream business jets and Abrams tanks, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said today in a regulatory filing today listing U.S. equity holdings as of Sept. 30. Berkshire reported an increase in its Dollar General Corp. stake and a decline in its holding of Johnson & Johnson.

Buffett and Combs drew down Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s cash hoard in the three months ended Sept. 30 as U.S. stocks headed for their biggest quarterly decline since 2008. Buffett, 81, said earlier today that he bought more than $10 billion of stock in International Business Machines Corp. this year, with most of the purchases made in the third quarter.

“American companies look very cheap compared to investment alternatives,” Buffett said today in a CNBC interview.

Berkshire invested $23.9 billion in the third quarter as Buffett, the chief executive officer, acquired Lubrizol Corp., took a preferred stake in Bank of America Corp. and broadened the stock portfolio. Buffett has accumulated the biggest stakes in Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. in his more than four decades running Berkshire. Combs, 40, is assembling a group of stock picks of his own after being hired by Berkshire last year to take smaller stakes than Buffett.

Berkshire held 5.66 million shares of CVS Caremark Corp., the largest U.S. provider of prescription drugs, valued at $190 million as of Sept. 30. The 2.29 million-share holding of Visa, the world’s biggest payments network, was valued at about $196 million.

The stakes in satellite television provider DirecTV, chipmaker Intel and General Dynamics were all valued at between $170 million and $200 million as of Sept. 30, according to the filing. Shares of each of Berkshire’s new holdings have advanced this quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at

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