repurchased an estimated $1.9 billion of inventory in the course of the first two months of 2023.
This is a Barron’s estimate based mostly on the share rely proven within the Berkshire Hathaway (Ticker BRK/A, BRK/B) proxy statement launched late Friday.
The proxy exhibits the share rely of roughly 1.456 million Class A shares excellent (with Class B inventory transformed to an equal quantity of A shares) as of March 8. We in contrast that determine to the share rely on Dec. 31, 2022. Berkshire is on tempo to repurchase almost $3 billion of inventory within the present quarter, according to the $2.6 billion within the fourth quarter.
Berkshire slowed its repurchase exercise in 2022 relative to 2021, repurchasing $7.9 billion final yr, towards $27.1 billion in 2021 and $24.7 billion in 2020.
Investors watch the repurchase exercise as a sign of CEO Warren Buffett’s view on the valuation of the inventory. The slowdown in repurchase exercise in current quarters means that he thinks the inventory is interesting however not tremendous low cost. Berkshire was actively investing in U.S. shares, notably
in 2022. The firm additionally paid nearly $12 billion for insurer Alleghany late final yr and upped its stake in truck-stop operator Pilot Co. earlier in 2023.
Berkshire’s Class A shares, which fell 2.8% to $442,765 on Friday, are off 5% thus far in 2023. They commerce for lower than 1.4 instances e book worth, which is line with the five-year common.
Write to Andrew Bary at [email protected]