FRI, OCT 07, 2022
'Pivot point': Buffett's likely successor buys into Berkshire
Greg Abel, the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman who has been designated to eventually become Berkshire Hathaway's CEO, now has a significant equity stake in the company for the first time.
In SEC filings earlier this week, Abel disclosed he purchased Class A shares worth $68 million, paying between $405,000 and $408,000 per share.
CNBC Pro quotes CFRA Research analyst Cathy Seifert as saying, "It likely may represent a shift as he prepares to assume more responsibility. Not a whole lot is ever telegraphed out of Berkshire, but I think this represents a pivot point."
Greg Abel at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in Los Angeles, May 1, 2021. (Gerard Miller | CNBC)
Barron's says the purchases are being welcomed by many Berkshire investors "who want to see him with skin in the game," as Buffett does with his enormous stake in the company.
It notes that Abel got cash instead of Berkshire stock when he sold his 1% interest in Berkshire Hathaway Energy back to the company in June for $870 million, even though that raised his tax bill.
With that money, and his $19 million in compensation last year, Abel has the means to buy more.
And with the stock trading well below its March high, Edward Jones analyst Jim Shanahan tells Barron's he thinks Abel "has significant incremental opportunity to further increase his stake."
VerityData's Ben Silverman is quoted by Bloomberg as saying the purchase is a two-fer: "It’s an important move by Abel because a nearly $70 million stock purchase signals his seriousness, and the timing of the buy -- on weakness, as the quarter is closing -- sends a positive valuation message."
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BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - Oct. 7, 2022
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded U.S. stocks, and BYD, by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of June 30, 2022 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on August 15, 2022, except for:
Apple, Bank of America, Chevron, and U.S. Bancorp, which also include shares held as of June 30, 2022 as disclosed in New England Asset Management’s 13F filing on August 15, 2022
- BYD, which is as of September 1, 2022
Occidental Petroleum, which is as of September 28, 2022
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
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-- Alex Crippen, Editor, Warren Buffett Watch