accumulated an 11.4% stake worth $4.2 billion in
the maker of personal computers and printers, according to regulatory filings late Wednesday.
The HP (ticker: HPQ) stock purchases accelerate a recent wave of buying by Berkshire Hathaway under CEO Warren Buffett. Berkshire (BRK.A and BRK.B) acquired a nearly 15% stake in
(OXY) worth $7.6 billion and has an agreement to buy the insurer
(Y) for $11.6 billion.
Berkshire’s stakes in HP were disclosed in two regulatory filings. An April 1 Form 3 filing showed Berkshire owned 10% of HP, or some 109.8 million shares.
A second filing, a Form 4, showed Berkshire held just under 121 million shares of HP on Wednesday after buying about 11 million shares in the past three days at prices ranging from $35 to $37. Once Berkshire exceeds a 10% stake in HP, as it did on Friday, the company must report additional purchases within two business days.
HP shares closed Wednesday at $34.91, down 3%, but were up nearly 12% in premarket trading at $38.98.
Buffett has a value bent and HP fits the bill, as the stock trades for just eight times expected earnings in its fiscal year ending in October. And HP shares return almost 3%.
End of October, Barrons Technology columnist Eric J. Savitz wrote that “with a history of improving growth, shareholder-friendly policies, and one of the cheapest stocks in the tech sector, HP looks like a screaming buy.”
Investors were happy to see Buffett invest some of Berkshire’s huge cash reserve, which stands at nearly $150 billion. Yet HP’s purchases could also have been made by its two investment lieutenants, Todd Combs and Ted Westchler, who together manage about 10% of Berkshire’s $350 billion stock portfolio.
Berkshire’s Class A shares rose 0.2% on Wednesday to $517,002 and are up about 15% so far this year, making it the best-performing megacap stock in the world.
Write to Andrew Bary at [email protected]