Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported on Monday in a securities file that it has acquired a stake in Paramount Global after buying $ 2.6 billion in Class B shares.
The SEC Form 13F filing showed that Buffett’s company bought nearly 69 million shares in Paramount Global during the first quarter, along with revealing that it also took other holdings in companies such as Citibank. In total, the investment giant bought $ 51 billion in equities during the first three months of 2022.
Buffett, which also owns stakes in entertainment companies such as Apple and Amazon, is buying into Paramount Global, formerly ViacomCBS, after the company’s results for the first quarter of 2022 included subscriber gains in the flagship streaming service Paramount + and Tubi, and topped expectations. But Wall Street skepticism about the limits of streaming gains across the sector has kept the stock in the red for the year.
Paramount Global shares are still fully majority controlled by Shari Redstone and the Redstone family̵[ads1]7;s National Amusements.
At a virtual investor meeting in February, Paramount’s executives, including CEO Bob Bakish, launched the company’s upcoming content offering and strategy, which includes hefty and growing investments in direct-to-consumer programming.
Paramount (which also owns CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Pluto TV and currently Simon & Schuster) has also sold assets to raise money, and has sold CBS Studio Center, Black Rock and CNET. An agreement was reached to sell the publisher Simon & Schuster to Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House last year, even though the DOJ has sued to block the merger.
Investors have been on guard against the streaming narrative across the entertainment sector, highlighted by Netflix’s stock decline following weak quarterly figures.
The buffet move comes ahead of Paramount Global’s annual preview of TV commercial buyers in New York. The company’s presentation is Wednesday afternoon.