Warren Buffett has slashed his Wells Fargo stake to a 17-year low. Here’s a chart tracking his 30-year investment in the banking titan

Christel Deskins

© REUTERS/Rick Wilking Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett talks with a shareholder before the company’s annual meeting in Omaha May 4, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake in Wells Fargo to 3.3%, its lowest level since 2003. The billionaire investor’s company owned more than 13% of […]



Warren Buffett wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett talks with a shareholder before the company's annual meeting in Omaha May 4, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking


© REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett talks with a shareholder before the company’s annual meeting in Omaha May 4, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake in Wells Fargo to 3.3%, its lowest level since 2003.
  • The billionaire investor’s company owned more than 13% of the bank in 1994, and more than $29 billion worth of its shares in 2017.
  • Scroll down for a chart tracking Berkshire’s Wells Fargo investment over the past 30 years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recently slashed its Wells Fargo stake to a 17-year low, signaling the famed investor has soured on the banking giant, one of his biggest investments for the better part of 30 years.

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The famed investor’s conglomerate originally spent about $290 million between 1989 and 1990 to acquire a 9.7% stake in the bank. It grew that ownership position as high as 13.3% in 1994, and held as many as 500 million Wells Fargo shares in 2015 and 2016.

The value of its investment peaked at more than $29 billion in 2017, representing an almost 250% gain on its $11.8 billion cost.

However, Berkshire has reduced its position by more than 60% this year to 136 million shares as of September 4. Those shares were worth less than $3.3 billion on Tuesday, and account for just 3.3% of the bank’s outstanding shares — Berkshire’s smallest stake since 2003.

Wells Fargo’s fake-accounts scandal, and the regulatory limits imposed on its lending as punishment, may explain why Buffett is bearish on the bank.

Berkshire also sold a bunch of financial stocks last quarter, suggesting rock-bottom interest rates and hefty loan-loss provisions might also be on the investor’s mind.

Here’s a chart showing how the size and value of Berkshire’s Wells Fargo investment has changed over the past 30 years:



a close up of a logo: Berkshire Hathaway


© Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway

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