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Investment changes at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co: A Q3 vs. Q4 2022 comparison

Ava Hoppe | 2 May, 2023

As the third quarter of 2022 came to a close, investors and analysts eagerly awaited information on the latest changes to the portfolios of major investment firms. Among them was Brown Brothers Harriman & Co (BBH), a leading global investment management firm. The company recently released its 13F filing for Q4 2022, detailing the movements in its stock holdings for the quarter compared to the previous one. What follows is a closer look at the changes, and what they may mean for investors.

BBH’s top holdings in Q4 2022

At the end of Q4 2022, BBH’s top five holdings in terms of market value were Berkshire Hathaway Inc-CL B, Mastercard Inc-A, Alcon Inc, Linde PLC, and Alphabet Inc-CL C. Among the top performers, there was a notable dip in shares of Alphabet Inc, which fell by 10.1% from 5,559,669 in Q3 2022 to 5,629,897 in Q4 2022. Conversely, shares of Linde PLC increased by 18.8%, from 1,385,516 in Q3 2022 to 1,360,098 in Q4 2022. Another point of interest was the appearance of two listings for Alcon Inc, with the company increasing holdings by 15.9% from 5,744,468 in Q3 2022 to 5,650,585 in Q4 2022, and a significant increase in holdings by over 136,000% to 6,633 from just four.

Other notable changes

Beyond the top five holdings, BBH made a number of interesting trades during the quarter compared to Q3 2022. One of the biggest movers was Booking Holdings Inc (formerly known as Priceline), in which BBH increased its holdings by 39.3%, with shares rising from 101,236 in Q3 2022 to 114,979 in Q4 2022. Meanwhile, Inc saw the biggest decrease in holdings, falling by 40.5% from 2,340,356 in Q3 2022 to 1,873,289 in Q4 2022. Waste Management Inc and Zoetis Inc experienced a 3.6% decline in holdings, with Waste Management's share count down by 21,575 to 2,105,691, and Zoetis down by 71,179 to 2,259,863.

Overall, BBH's hedge fund outperformed the S&P 500 with a return of 25% versus 16% for the S&P 500. The firm's total assets under management (AUM) increased from $57 billion to $61 billion during the quarter.

Takeaways for investors

It's important to remember that while tracking the trades of major investment firms such as BBH can provide valuable insight into market trends, investors should also keep their own investment strategies and goals in mind. Changes in an investment firm’s portfolio holdings should be viewed as an indication of the current state of the market, rather than a guarantee of future returns.

It’s important to stay up-to-date with financial news to help make better investment decisions. At the same time, it's essential to maintain a long-term investment strategy that accounts for financial goals and risk tolerance. Maintaining a diversified portfolio across asset classes can help investors manage risk in any market environment.

Final thoughts

The Q3 to Q4 comparison of BBH’s holdings provides valuable insight into the performance of a leading investment firm and the current market. Many of the changes are likely linked to fluctuations and trends in the economy and specific industries. It remains to be seen how these trades will play out in the long-term, but the information can certainly help investors make more informed decisions and assess their own portfolios in relation to broader industry trends.

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