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Did Warren Buffett Buy the COVID-19 Stock Market Crash?


Apr. 28 2020, Published 12:50 p.m. ET

  • Over the next three weeks, we’ll get some key updates from Berkshire Hathaway and its chairman, Warren Buffett.
  • Warren Buffett will share his knowledge in the annual shareholder letter. The letter is released along with the company’s annual report. Also, Berkshire Hathaway will hold its annual meeting over the weekend. Next month, the company will file its first-quarter 13F.
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Warren Buffett and US stock market crash

A large number of market participants have been speculating whether Warren Buffett brought stocks amid the US stock market crash last month. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) and the Dow Jones Index (NYSEARCA:DIA) recorded their fastest bear market ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When the crash started, Warren Buffett said that it was an opportunity to add stocks if they’re available at reasonable prices. However, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) sold some banking and airline stocks in the first quarter. Charlie Munger also sounded circumspect in a recent interview.

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting

Berkshire Hathaway will hold its annual shareholder meeting on May 2. In this year’s virtual meeting, Charlie Munger won’t be taking investors’ questions. However, Warren Buffett will share his knowledge with investors. Buffett will also share his knowledge in his annual shareholder letter. The letter is released with the company’s annual report. The annual report and Berkshire’s earnings report will tell us the amount of cash that Berkshire Hathaway is holding.

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Q1 13F

By looking at Berkshire Hathaway’s cash position, markets would get some insight into whether Warren Buffett bought the COVID-19 US stock market crash. However, we’ll have to wait for the first-quarter 13F to get a clear picture. By law, Berkshire Hathaway should file its first-quarter 13F before May 15. Meanwhile, some of the hedge funds have added Berkshire Hathaway shares in the first quarter. They showed their faith in Warren Buffett. While the legendary investor’s performance has lagged the S&P 500 over the last decade, he still has a big fan following.

Did Warren Buffett buyback $20 billion worth of stock?

Chris Bloomstran, whose Semper Augustus Investments holds around $60 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares, speculates that the company spent big on buybacks in the first quarter. He said, “I would be surprised if they didn’t repurchase at least $20 billion during the first quarter.”

In an interview last year, Warren Buffett said that he might even consider a $100 billion buyback if the conditions are right. While Berkshire Hathaway has increased its buybacks over the last year, they’re still minuscule considering its massive cash pile.

Over the next three weeks, there will be clarity on how Warren Buffett played the stock market crash in the first quarter.


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