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Buffett’s Berkshire Reduces Buybacks Amid Stock-Purchasing Spree

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(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett dialed back on share repurchases in the second quarter as his conglomerate put its cash stockpile to work buying up stakes in other companies.

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  • The billionaire’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. repurchased $1 billion of shares during the second quarter, less than the $3.2 billion it bought back during the first three months of 2022. Buffett has turned to stock buybacks as one way to deploy billions of dollars in cash and return some excess funds to shareholders. Berkshire’s stock has gotten cheaper amid a general downturn in markets, with the Class A shares falling nearly 23% during the quarter.

Key Insights

  • Berkshire barely made a dent in its cash hoard, reporting $105.4 billion compared to the $106 billion at the end of March.

  • Berkshire swung to a loss of $43.8 billion in the second quarter, with the company losing $53 billion on its investment portfolio amid a market rout.

  • Auto insurer Geico reported an underwriting loss of $487 million, as inflation and higher used-car prices makes it costlier to fix and replace damaged vehicles.

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  • Berkshire’s statement is here.

  • The company’s Class A stock fell almost 23% in the second quarter, following a 17% increase in the first three months of the year.

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