Berkshire Hathaway Net Sellers

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In their recent episode of the VALUE: After Hours Podcast, Taylor, Brewster, and Carlisle discussed Berkshire Hathaway Net Sellers. Here’s an excerpt from the episode:

Tobias: People love Warren. The big takeaway, I think, is that they’re still net sellers. They’ve been punching out– They sold $2.1 billion of stock, bought $1.1 billion. They’ve sold out of a whole lot of stuff.

Bill: I think this is fake news, dude. They bought their own shares?

Tobias: Fake news? Well, I’m not talking about their shares. I’m talking about their holdings.

Bill: Okay, [crosstalk]

Jake: That’s on like $900ish billion of assets total, so don’t get too– [crosstalk]

Tobias: Just trimming around the edges. But selling rather than buying, that’s just– directionally, it’s interesting.

Jake: Yeah.

Tobias: Spent $6 billion on share repurchases, down from $6.6 in the first quarter. Down from $9 billion in the two quarters before that, but obviously, still thinks it’s cheap, because buying back– has said in the past that they wouldn’t sell below $20 billion in cash, has raised that to $30 billion. But he’s got $70 or $80 billion that he would love to put to work. Broad-based recovery. Just about everything is up including the railroad. The railroad revs, and I don’t know if this is because last year was a bad comp, but the railroad revenue was up 26%, pretax earnings up 33%. That’s extraordinary. It’s like some sort of SaaS tech stock the way that’s running.

Bill: Yeah, I think that’s a low base. What is it off 2019?

Tobias: I don’t know. I didn’t dig into it that much. Revenues in the real estate brokerages plus 48%, pretax earnings plus 129%. That’s not bad.

Bill: To give you a sense, UMP is up quarter 2, 29%, comped to 2020 quarter 2.

Tobias: Consumer products manufacturing, revs plus 68%, pretax earnings plus 197%. That’s Forest River RVs, Duracell, Brooke Sports, Fruit of the Loom. Building products, plus 29% in revs, pretax earnings plus 40%. That’s Clayton Homes, Shaw, Johns Manville, Acme Building Products, Benjamin Moore, [unintelligible 00:05:38] MiTek Construction and Engineering. Blockbuster return, not bad for Berkshire and Buffett again. Anybody surprised by any of that?

Bill: I think some of that’s a bounce off of a low [crosstalk]

Tobias: There’s a bounce.

Bill: Yeah.

Jake: I don’t know if I’d call it blockbuster. I think it was just very solid, very Berkshire like, just relentless forward progress, one foot in front of the other. Obviously, encouraging more from a general US economy state because it is a nice keyhole into the US economy. But yeah, I think it’s good. I think they’re just executing relentlessly.

Tobias: Yeah.

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