Class B shares had a near-flat performance in 2020, but director Ronald Olson bought them anyway.
Berkshire’s Class B shares (ticker: BRK.B) managed a 2.3% gain last year, trailing the 16.3% rise in the S&P 500 index. Warren Buffett’s company made some ill-timed stock trades in 2020, including selling
Goldman Sachs Group
(JPM) before they rallied.
Olson paid $889,335 on Dec. 18 for 4,000 Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares, an average per share price of $222.33. Olson, a partner of law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson, now owns 5,446 Class B Berkshire Hathaway shares and seven Class A shares in a personal account. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Olson also owns 19,886 Class B shares and 138 Class A shares through trusts. He disclosed the purchase on Jan. 6. Olson, a director since 1997, declined to comment about the transaction.
The open-market purchase of Berkshire Hathaway stock is Olson’s first since March 2016, when he paid $2.1 million for 10 Class A shares, an average per share price of $210,543.09. Each Berkshire Class A share is convertible into 1,500 Class B shares.
Barron’s is bullish on “historically cheap” Berkshire Hathaway stock, and it’s one of our picks for 2021. We’ve noted that it is “encouraging that Buffett’s favorite investment in 2020 was Berkshire stock, with the company repurchasing $15.7 billion through the first nine months of 2020, including a record $9 billion in the third quarter.”
Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.