Author Topic: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?  (Read 21596 times)

The Investor

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #130 on: October 10, 2018, 08:52:02 AM »
Even if a strong, steadily growing company was to become cheaper relative to intrinsic value over a long time frame, you eventually realise a high return through rising dividends. As a long term holder of shares you don't even need the weighing machine effect to kick in (although in the real world it always seems to).

Berkshire will not pay a dividend until it makes sense to do so (and who knows when that will be?). That means if you have anything less than a multi-decade time horizon, you will be more dependent on the whims of the market to realise gains, than you would with a company that pays out some part of profits.

I was somewhat peeved at the recent runup in Berkshire, as I would like to buy more over time. If BRK goes to sub 1.3 P/B without something obviously terrible causing that, I'd be very pleased.


John Hjorth

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #131 on: October 10, 2018, 09:24:51 AM »
... Berkshire will not pay a dividend until it makes sense to do so (and who knows when that will be?). ...

The Investor,

I suppose, by inverting the Berkshire Buyback Ammendment of July 17th 2018, that would be when Mr. Buffett & Mr. Munger deems the Berkshire market price to be above intrinsic value per share, as one condition, out of maybe several.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 09:27:36 AM by John Hjorth »
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longinvestor

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #132 on: October 10, 2018, 09:37:26 AM »
Even if a strong, steadily growing company was to become cheaper relative to intrinsic value over a long time frame, you eventually realise a high return through rising dividends. As a long term holder of shares you don't even need the weighing machine effect to kick in (although in the real world it always seems to).

Berkshire will not pay a dividend until it makes sense to do so (and who knows when that will be?). That means if you have anything less than a multi-decade time horizon, you will be more dependent on the whims of the market to realise gains, than you would with a company that pays out some part of profits.

I was somewhat peeved at the recent runup in Berkshire, as I would like to buy more over time. If BRK goes to sub 1.3 P/B without something obviously terrible causing that, I'd be very pleased.

I am actually in the camp that I don't want Berkshire to pay me a dividend. Reasons are simple, they pay a dividend when I don't need the cash. Or that amount of cash. I will make my own dividend by selling just enough shares when I need the cash. The price may be lower (on recency basis), and I am willing to accept that knowing that there will be other times when I sell at higher prices. It is all relative. Selling a small percent of your holding bought 10-15 years ago don't mean much. So yes, holding over multi-decade time horizon is a different ball game. Buffett kind of talks only to that crowd. 

The Investor

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #133 on: October 10, 2018, 03:10:30 PM »
... Berkshire will not pay a dividend until it makes sense to do so (and who knows when that will be?). ...

The Investor,

I suppose, by inverting the Berkshire Buyback Ammendment of July 17th 2018, that would be when Mr. Buffett & Mr. Munger deems the Berkshire market price to be above intrinsic value per share, as one condition, out of maybe several.

It might even be the only condition? Perhaps it should be fairly significantly above fair value though, due to the negative tax implication of a dividend for many owners.

If it's below intrinsic value buybacks should come before a dividend, if there are no more attractive options.
There might be a zone where it's slightly above intrinsic value so buybacks don't make sense and dividends don't either. Then I suppose lots of cash would build up until it moves one way or the other.

The Investor

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #134 on: October 10, 2018, 03:23:27 PM »
Even if a strong, steadily growing company was to become cheaper relative to intrinsic value over a long time frame, you eventually realise a high return through rising dividends. As a long term holder of shares you don't even need the weighing machine effect to kick in (although in the real world it always seems to).

Berkshire will not pay a dividend until it makes sense to do so (and who knows when that will be?). That means if you have anything less than a multi-decade time horizon, you will be more dependent on the whims of the market to realise gains, than you would with a company that pays out some part of profits.

I was somewhat peeved at the recent runup in Berkshire, as I would like to buy more over time. If BRK goes to sub 1.3 P/B without something obviously terrible causing that, I'd be very pleased.

I am actually in the camp that I don't want Berkshire to pay me a dividend. Reasons are simple, they pay a dividend when I don't need the cash. Or that amount of cash. I will make my own dividend by selling just enough shares when I need the cash. The price may be lower (on recency basis), and I am willing to accept that knowing that there will be other times when I sell at higher prices. It is all relative. Selling a small percent of your holding bought 10-15 years ago don't mean much. So yes, holding over multi-decade time horizon is a different ball game. Buffett kind of talks only to that crowd.

Yes same here. I prefer not to get a dividend either, especially for the shares I own personally. Here in the UK there is no tax on undistributed income for personal holding companies, but the US would withhold 15% tax anyway, so it would still be disadvantageous from a tax perspective. In the case of UK companies paying a dividend, I would be able to keep reinvesting dividends received within my company with tax deferred until it's paid out to me personally.

longinvestor

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #135 on: October 11, 2018, 07:31:00 AM »
Are we at the cusp of a new cycle of greed @ Omaha? All market declines are for them but this one (if it comes true) is one they are so ($110 b)ready for. On your mark-get set...….

Dynamic

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #136 on: October 11, 2018, 07:37:13 AM »
Yes, watching my portfolio plummet back from the all time high of $224 at yesterday's open, I was thinking Berkshire's broker could be getting busy with the buybacks today around $210, prices we haven't seen since the end of August.

AdjustedEarnings

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #137 on: October 11, 2018, 08:54:34 AM »
Yeah, no question about it. The stock is below the now-infamous August 30 ("we bought back a little" day). $224 was better if one was looking to sell. But frankly, LT holders have to love the price drop. Now that they're no longer hoarding cash, it's nice to know that every price drop works in our favor if you just sit and let them shrink the equity (if Warren Buffett and John Malone had a child...). Better than waiting for that 'elephant' acquisition which comes every few years and hasn't come for a long time now. I do not think they're stopping at $210 either. My guesstimate (and that's all it can be) is that the buyback will continue to $220-$225 at least and that limit will move up as IV increases (though it could move down if rates were up a lot? But I suppose WEB uses higher than prevailing rates for his discounting, so maybe not by much). If we have a -20 or -30% on the S&P, BRK buyback will be epic. And you could sit on your position and not have to buy more to take advantage of the dips (if you don't want to or don't have the funds) because they'll be buying it in.

Buyers at $206 really have, again if they're in it for the LT, almost a one-way bet. You can be as sure as you'll ever be in stocks that there won't be a permanent impairment of capital. Plus, there's upside from here from valuation growth and business growth. Just my 20,600 cents.

John Hjorth

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #138 on: October 11, 2018, 09:01:04 AM »
Are we at the cusp of a new cycle of greed @ Omaha? All market declines are for them but this one (if it comes true) is one they are so ($110 b)ready for. On your mark-get set...….

That would actually be great, if Berkshire had something listed on its watchlist, that would fit with regard to price in this situation. Time will tell.
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John Hjorth

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Re: Buffett buybacks: Could Berkshire tender stock?
« Reply #139 on: October 11, 2018, 09:18:05 AM »
Yes, watching my portfolio plummet back from the all time high of $224 at yesterday's open, I was thinking Berkshire's broker could be getting busy with the buybacks today around $210, prices we haven't seen since the end of August.

compared to:

My understanding is that they are limited by rule 10b-18 to buying no more than 25% of the daily volume.  They are also not supposed to trade in the final 10 minutes before the close.

I would be very surprised if Warren purchased anywhere close to 25% of the daily volume of the combined share classes.  My impression is that he would feel that repurchase activity near the 25% level would influence the share price more than he desires.  It is impossible to completely eliminate your influence on the share price (witness the generally rising stock, closure of A/B share premium/discount, etc).

If I had to guess, I would guess that Berkshire established a 10b5-1 plan specifying a maximum price and a percentage of the trailing ADV to purchase.  I would guess that they specified somewhere around 10-15% of the Average Daily Volume, not to exceed 25% on any given day unless a large transaction was privately negotiated outside the plan (which would not be considered to be protected by the safe harbor of the plan).

They probably filed the 10b5-1 plan directly following their 10Q, allowing them to begin purchases under the plan immediately.  Buffett would receive daily trade confirms but isn't supposed to have any other communication with the broker he chose to administer the plan.  So he would know what was purchased each day and "we bought a little" is very difficult to quantify when you are talking about a half-trillion dollar market value enterprise...

We'll find out soon enough with the next 10Q and we can try to reverse engineer the % of daily volume they specified...

If this theory is correct then I gather there is no buyback pause during the blackout period? That would be a pretty major drawback to a more actively managed buyback program - 4 months a year where they can't make repurchases.

So, last week pretty strong resistance to general market price moves [outside the blackout period], ref. post #109 by sleepydragon, - this week [inside the blackout period] it moves around in the market price spectrum basically [give or take a bit] like any other stock.

Thoughts, gents?
”In the race of excellence … there is no finish line.”
-HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai