Berkshire Hathaway “ramped up share buybacks and bought more stocks than it sold in the third quarter,” according to a recent article in Business Insider.
Berkshire reportedly repurchased $9 billion of its own stock, breaking its previous buyback record of $5.1 billion (in the second quarter). According to the article, the news signals that Buffett’s company is “opening its wallet and finding bargains again after taking cover during the pandemic.”
The increased spending reduced the firm’s cash pile to around $139 billion.
The article notes that the pandemic “continued to weigh on Berkshire’s financials last quarter” with a 3% drop in revenues due to decreased sales revenue in insurance businesses as well as in the railroad, utilities and energy divisions. But the firm’s rising value in its Apple holdings (its largest) contributed to about $32 billion in investment gains that resulted in an 83% boost in net earnings to $30.4 billion.
“Berkshire’s earnings underline its shift from slashing financial holdings and dumping airline stocks in the second quarter, to announcing more than $19 billion worth of investments last quarter,” the article concludes.