Anyone have any thoughts on if Berkshire has been buying back shares? With 20 billion on float they have the $$ to do it and if it's selling at a discout why not do one. I know WEB has said they should have done them in the past but didn't.
Buffett said in an interview with "Investor's Digest" recently that he thinks it's a good thing when companies he owns buy back their stock --- BRK now owns a greater percentage of Coke, for example, because KO has been buying back its stock, leaving fewer shares out there. However, Buffett said that although BRK should have probably bought back some of its own shares in the past, he is not interested at the moment.
Bear in mind that when news announcements say that BRK has "bought" into companies, like the recent chemical and cable companies, it was not BRK but GEICO, a BRK subsidiary, that bought them with GEICO float money. They were hundred million dollar purchases, too small for BRK. Buffett is only interested in billion-dollar purchases. Mike Howard
>> However, Buffett said that although BRK should have probably bought back some of its own shares in the past, he is not interested at the moment. <<
At the moment. Maybe that's because Buffett doesn't think BRK is sufficiently undervalued?
What if the market crashed tomorrow and the market (BRK included) suddenly lost half its market value, even though its businesses were still solid cash generators? Seems to me that Buffett could achieve his primary goal -- increasing the per-share intrinsic value for shareholders -- by using a lot of that cash to buy back shares. Presumably, the times he thinks he should have repurchased stock was when he considered BRK to be highly undervalued.
Of course, he might also find other opportunities which are even more undervalued and add even more intrinsic value...
This was posted 6/23 98 about the gen-re deal.A money mgr that personaly owns brk and Gen-Re in his fund says that he thinks BRk has gone up too fast this year.Buffett responds:to date the price of brk has outstripped the gain in IV.He goes on to say, because many view BRK as a closed end fund, and value it at liquidation value, it has very often been UNDERVALUED and the value is more app. now.I think we are close to fair here and would not be surprised if BRK bought its own shares in the 58-60 area..