Finance

7 big holdings in Bill Gates’ portfolios in 2022

Bill Gates’ largest and most popular investment holdings in 2022 include Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, Waste Management, and Canadian National Railway Co. – among others.

The seven stocks featured in this article are based on recent filings from Gates, his Cascade Investment private investment firm, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.

Bill Gates is most famously known for being the founder of Microsoft, the largest computer software vendor in the world today.

Gates’ success at Microsoft propelled him to become the world’s wealthiest person for several years throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

He stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000 before moving to board director in 2008. He then left his seat as director in March 2020.

Today, Gates is still the fifth richest person in the world with a net worth of $114 billion (R1.9 trillion) and largely focuses on philanthropy via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Seven of Gates’ largest and most popular investment holdings in 2022 are listed below.


Microsoft

If you’re interested in following Gates’ investment portfolio, a good place to start is with the company that made him wealthy.

While Gates stopped reporting his ownership stake in Microsoft in 2020 after he stepped down from the board, he is believed to own about $28.6 billion (R492 billion) worth of Microsoft stock, a bit over 1% of the company.

Microsoft is also one of the Gates Foundation Trust’s top 10 holdings. The trust holds 944,620 shares of Microsoft worth about $242.6 million (R4.1 billion).

The software company reported a 12.3% growth in revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter compared with the prior-year period.

Its share price is currently trading 28.2% below its estimated fair value, and earnings grew 18.7% over the past year.


Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway is the holding company of fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, and it’s the largest stock holding of the Gates Foundation Trust.

The trust holds 34.7 million Berkshire shares to the value of $9.5 billion (R161 billion).

Berkshire’s stock has gained 13% per year over the last 10 years as of 22 August 2022 – outperforming the 11.4% annualised return of the S&P 500 over that same period.

Berkshire’s earnings are also forecasted to grow 66.2% over the next year.


Waste Management

Waste Management (WM) provides environmental disposal services to residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers.

The Gates Foundation Trust first invested in WM in 2002, and the stock has generated a total return of roughly 1,000% since then.

The trust now holds 18.6 million shares of WM stock worth nearly $2.9 billion (49.3 billion).

In 2020, WM recycled 13.5% of all the materials it handled, including 7.7 million tons of paper and 502,459 tons of plastic.

Its earnings grew 34% over the past year, which is expected to grow 9.6% yearly.


Canadian National Railway Co.

Canadian National Railway (CNI) is the fourth-largest North American railroad.

According to a 13D filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in July, Gates’ investment firms hold a combined 64,360,928 shares of CNI stock worth more than $8.2 billion (R139 billion).

Canadian National Railway is trading at 3.2% below its estimated fair value, and its earnings are forecasted to grow by 6.21%.


Deere & Co.

John Deere is the brand name of American Deere & Company, the world’s largest producer of agricultural and farm equipment.

In a second July 13D filing with the SEC, Gates disclosed that he, Cascade and the Gates Foundation hold a combined 23,689,657 shares of Deere stock worth nearly $8.8 billion (R149 billion).

Like most other commodities this year, crop prices are elevated, giving farmers opportunities.

As a result, Deere’s third-quarter earnings report ending 31 July 2022 showed that sales and profit from large farm equipment were up 43% year-on-year, while earnings grew 13.6%.

The global agricultural equipment industry is also forecasted to grow 8.5% annually through 2030.


Republic Services Inc

Republic Services is another non-hazardous solid waste disposal services company.

In February 2022, a Cascade filing revealed Gates added another 362,747 shares to his Republic Services stake, bringing Cascade’s total holdings up to roughly 109.8 million shares worth more than $16 billion (R274 billion).

This year, Republic Services shares have generated a return of 5.7%, while the company reported a 21.4% growth in revenue and 12.3% net income growth compared with 2021.


Ecolab

Ecolab (ECL) provides services, technology and systems specialising in water treatment, purification, cleaning and hygiene applications.

Gates’ Cascade reported in August a total investment of more than 31 million Ecolab shares worth roughly $5.3 billion (R91.4 billion), while his trust holds an additional 4.8 million shares of ECL stock worth more than $800 million (R13.8 billion).

Ecolab’s earnings are forecasted to grow by 19.51% per year.

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