Berkshire Hathaway AGM 2019: Legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Saturday said that his firm Berkshire Hathaway will not spend ‘another dime’ on share repurchases, unless it benefits the shareholders. Warren Buffett said that he has “no ambition to spend a dime” on more buybacks, however, if the shares trade at what he reckons to be a discount to the broader market, Berkshire Hathaway could “easily spend very substantial sums” on more repurchases. Notably, given the recent slew of share repurchases by Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett was asked whether the trend would continue, or is the company looking for acquisitions.
Watch: Berkshire shareholders seek Warren Buffett’s wisdom at annual meeting | Berkshire Hathaway Meet 2019
In the quarter gone by, the Omaha, Nebraska-based behemoth bought back $1.7 billion of shares, even as the stock price declined. Historically, Berkshire is known to have preferred using its cash on equities or acquisitions. The latest flurry of buybacks come after Berkshire Hathaway finds itself sitting on a cash pile of more than $114 billion. Hence, it spent the first quarter snapping up more of its own stock.
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The world’s richest investor Warren Buffett’s address will assume focus at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual AGM in Omaha, Nebraska in what is famously referred to as the “Woodstock for Capitalists,” with prominent voices from the investing community in attendance. The ongoing weekend features shopping discounts, a five-kilometer run and a cocktail reception that occupies an entire shopping mall. Investor conferences focused on Berkshire and “value” investing are also scattered around the city. This year the attendance has broken records as an estimated 16,200 people showed up at exhibit yesterday, several thousand more than the previous year, according to media reports.
In the latest quarter, Berkshire Hathaway reported net profit of a whopping $21.7 billion, as compared to a loss of $1.1 billion in the comparable period previous fiscal. The wide disparity is due to a new accounting rule which requires companies to now include changes in the market value of investment portfolios within earnings. Further, swings in derivatives values are also included.