#4: Johnson & Johnson
Industry: Consumer Health
Berkshire Shares: 10.3 million
YTD Returns: 3%
It’s worth noting that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) shares also have evaporated off Berkshire’s list of holdings. At its peak, J&J was 62 million shares. Last quarter it was 29 million. Now it’s a mere 10.3 million.
Some of the reasons for the trim-back might be familiar to anyone who has held JNJ long-term — a listless share price, concerns over quality and recalls and general fears of new treatments to replace prescription products and grow the top line even if the consumer brands like Tylenol provide stable revenue streams.
A management shakeup including a new CEO at the helm might re-energize this company with or without Buffett’s ownership down the road. But short-term headwinds persist, as the company trimmed its full-year forecast in July.
Still, as an income investment, it’s a noteworthy one. Dividends have been paid since 1944, and a dividend increase announced just a few weeks ago proves Johnson & Johnson cares about keeping income investors happy.