Buffett's Berkshire bought Dow Jones, bank stocks

Billionaire Warren Buffett's holding company bought nearly 2.8 million shares of Dow Jones dj earlier this year, before Rupert Murdoch sealed his deal to buy the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Berkshire Hathaway brkabrkb filed the quarterly summary of its $61.1 billion portfolio of U.S. stocks with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. The filing did not say how much Berkshire paid for the Dow Jones shares, which closed at $36.33 the day before news of Murdoch's $60-per-share offer became public May 1.

Berkshire bought the Dow Jones shares sometime in April, May or June, so it could have paid as little as $34 a share. Berkshire held 2.78 million shares of Dow Jones stock, worth about $159.8 million, at the end of June.

The Dow Jones purchase runs counter to Buffett's well-established opinion that newspapers face long-term challenges because the economics of the business are eroding. But Berkshire's Dow Jones ownership is likely to be short term.

Murdoch's News Corp. nws reached an agreement Aug. 1 to pay $5 billion to acquire Dow Jones.

Berkshire's summary reveals several changes in the Omaha-based company's holdings as of June 30, but Berkshire's recent investments in two major freight railroads were omitted.

Berkshire received permission from the SEC to omit information about its investments in Union Pacific unp and Norfolk Southern nsc, which were first disclosed in May.

Berkshire regularly asks the Securities and Exchange Commission for the ability not to immediately disclose its holdings. Berkshire says the information could hurt its trading strategy because the market likes to follow what the "Oracle of Omaha's" company does.

In May, Berkshire revealed the company owned 10.5 million shares of Union Pacific and nearly 6.4 million shares of Norfolk Southern. The news of Berkshire's railroad investments sent shares of all major freight railroads soaring.

Earlier this month, Berkshire said in SEC filings it had added to its railroad holdings by buying 1.62 million shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe bni. Berkshire owns 40.65 million shares, or about 11.5% of the railroad.

Different disclosure rules apply to the BNSF investment because Berkshire owns more than 10% of that company.

Buffett's assistant Debbie Bosanek said Tuesday that Berkshire would not comment on its investments beyond what the government requires the company to disclose.

The filing does not differentiate between investments Berkshire makes, investments any of its more than 60 subsidiaries make, or investments Buffett himself makes.

Berkshire added to its banking holdings with a new investment in 8.7 million shares of Bank of America bac, worth about $425.3 million. Berkshire also added to its already sizable investments in Wells Fargo wfc and U.S. Bancorp usb during the quarter and maintained its 6.7 million shares of M&T Bank mtb.

Berkshire increased its stake in U.S. Bank's parent company from 23.3 million shares at the end of March to 37.1 million shares worth $839.6 million at the end of June.

Berkshire added about 25.5 million shares of Wells Fargo during the quarter. It owned 257.7 million shares of Wells Fargo worth about $9.1 billion at the end of June. That represents nearly 8% of Wells Fargo.

Between March 31 and June 30, Berkshire also made several other moves, including:

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