Warren Buffett has been quietly making a huge bet on a well-known conglomerate with thousands of employees around the world: Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
While Mr. Buffett has increasingly faced pressure this year to use his nearly $150 billion cash pile to purchase significant stakes in or the entire business of a company, the world’s most famous investor has seemingly made few acquisitions. Among the few deals he did make are Berkshire’s purchase of Dominion Energy Inc.’s midstream energy business and its investment of $6 billion in five Japanese companies.
Berkshire also made a $250 million investment in the initial public offering for the data-warehousing company Snowflake Inc.
But none of these 2020 investments have risen to the “elephant” scale, Mr. Buffett’s term for a big buy, relative to the conglomerate’s size and available cash.
In fact, the biggest purchase that the Omaha, Neb., company has made is to purchase its own stock. Berkshire bought $9 billion of its own shares in the third quarter, bringing total buybacks for the first three quarters of 2020 to $15.7 billion. These buybacks mean that Berkshire Hathaway stock is now one of Berkshire Hathaway’s biggest investments ever.