sold 4.8 million shares of
worth about $130 million in recent days, according to a Form 4 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.
This follows the sale of 5.5 million HP Inc. (ticker: HPQ) shares by Berkshire from Sept. 11 to 13 valued at about $160 million.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A, BRK/B) now owns 110.6 million shares of the maker of personal computers and printers, a stake worth $3 billion. The stake amounts to an 11.2% interest in HP, whose shares closed Friday at $26.77, down 0.1% in the session.
The most recent sales occurred from Wednesday through Friday at an average price of about $27 a share.
Berkshire accumulated the stake in HP in early 2022 and the sales last week were the first since the company finished buying the stock in April 2022. The recent sales could be a sign that Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett, who oversees the company’s roughly $350 billion equity portfolio, plans to continue reducing the HP stake.
In the past year, Buffett has reduced formerly sizable stakes in
Bank of New York Mellon
Buffett likes to buy and sell stock as quietly as possible, but since Berkshire owns a stake of more than 10% in HP, it needs to file with the SEC within two business days of making any changes in the position.
This means that any further Berkshire sales will trigger filings, given the size of Berkshire’s stake in HP. Berkshire would have to get its holding under 99 million shares of HP, compared with the current 110 million shares, to avoid filings on purchases or sales.
Berkshire likely is taking a loss on the HP sale, having purchased the HP stake in the low $30s, Barron’s estimates.
After the initial HP sale recently, Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani wrote: “The share sale follows a more challenged quarter with HP lowering FY23 EPS and FCF [free cash flow] expectations driven by macro softness and continued channel inventory overhang.”
The analyst and others wondered whether the sales would continue, and they have.
Berkshire has been more active in buying and selling stocks in its equity portfolio in recent years than in the past.
Write to Andrew Bary at email@example.com