Repurchased an estimated $1.9 billion of stock during the first two months of 2023.
This is a Barron’s estimate based on the number of shares shown in Berkshire Hathaway (ticker BRK/A, BRK/B). proxy statement Released late Friday.
The proxy shows the outstanding number of Class A shares (Class B stock converted into an equal amount of A shares) as of March 8 of approximately 1.456 million. We compared that figure to the share count as on December 31, 2022. Berkshire is on pace to repurchase nearly $3 billion of stock in the current quarter, similar to $2.6 billion in the fourth quarter.
Berkshire projects its repurchase activity will slow in 2022 compared to 2021, repurchasing $7.9 billion last year, compared to $27.1 billion in 2021 and $24.7 billion in 2020.
Investors view the repurchase activity as an indication of CEO Warren Buffett’s outlook on the stock’s valuation. The slowdown in repurchase activity in recent quarters suggests they think the stock is attractive but not super cheap. Berkshire was particularly actively investing in US stocks.
In 2022. The company paid about $12 billion for insurer Allegheny late last year and extended its stake in truck-stop operator Pilot Company through early 2023.
Berkshire’s Class A shares, which fell 2.8% to $442,765 on Friday, are down 5% so far in 2023. They trade at less than 1.4 times book value, which is in line with the five-year average.
Write to Andrew Barry at [email protected]