A pair of prominent investors are pursuing opposing strategies in their bank investments: Warren Buffett is buying, while David Einhorn is cutting back.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake in Wells Fargo (WFC), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK) during the second quarter, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing. The conglomerate bought roughly 5 million shares of Wells Fargo common stock, raising its ownership stake to 8.7%. The San Francisco company remained the largest single position in Berkshire's portfolio, accounting for 21% of total holdings, according to analysis by SNL Financial.
Meanwhile, David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital sold its entire stake in the $5.2 billion-asset National Bank Holdings (NBHC) in Greenwood Village, Colo., and reduced its stake in the $2.6 billion-asset State Bank Financial (STBZ) in Atlanta by more than 14%, to $27 million, during the second quarter.
Still, Einhorn bought a $100 million stake in ING U.S. (VOYA), which began trading May 2, according to SNL. In the first quarter, the hedge fund invested $17.9 million in Capital Bank Financial (CBF), a $7 billion-asset company in Coral Gables, Fla.
Berkshire bought about 17 million U.S. Bancorp shares in the second quarter, increasing its stake in the Minneapolis company to more than 4.2%. The company also bought 5.7 million shares of BNY Mellon, bringing its stake to 2.1%.
Berkshire's stakes in other financial firms did not change. It still holds a 14% stake in American Express (AXP) and a 4.2% stake in M&T Bank (MTB).
In May, Charlie Munger, Berkshire's vice chairman, called for more regulation of the nation's biggest banks.