An unexpected shopping spree

Berkshire’s cash pile grew to a near-record $146.7 billion at the end of 2021, largely because Buffett found little that excited him. He is a value investor, after all, and U.S. stock market valuations were bloated up until a few months ago.

But based on his company’s recent moves, it's clear that Buffett now sees opportunity in the market.

In March, Berkshire snapped up over 136 million shares of Occidental Petroleum (OXY), representing nearly 15% of the integrated oil and gas giant’s total shares outstanding.

Later in the month, Berkshire reached an agreement to buy insurance company Alleghany for $11.6 billion.

And now, by loading up 121 million shares of HP, Berkshire has become its largest shareholder with an 11.4% stake.

Fine wine is a sweet comfort in any situation — and now it can make your investment portfolio a little more comfortable, too. Now a platform called Vinovest helps everyday buyers invest in fine wines — no sommelier certification required.

Invest Now

A fast-growing company

With a market cap of around $41 billion, HP isn’t nearly as big as Buffett’s other major tech holding, Apple. But it’s one of the leading players in the PC industry.

And business is not standing still.

In HP’s fiscal Q1, revenue grew 8.8% year over year to $17 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.10, up 19.6% from the year-ago period and well above management’s prior outlook.

In March, HP announced that it would acquire video and voice solutions company Poly in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.3 billion. The move should accelerate HP’s growth strategy, helping it build a leading portfolio of hybrid work solutions.

The company is returning cash to investors, too. HP pays quarterly dividends of 25 cents per share, translating to a decent annual yield of 2.6%.

It’s also buying back its shares: In fiscal Q1, HP spent $1.5 billion of cash to repurchase approximately 42.6 million shares of common stock.

Buffett loves cheap stocks

Due to growing investor interest, many tech stocks have rallied significantly in recent years, pushing their valuations to uncomfortably high levels.

However, HP remains relatively cheap, a characteristic that Buffett loves to see in his investment purchases.

Despite the multi-year rally in tech, HP has a price-to-earnings ratio of 7. That’s not only substantially lower than the S&P 500’s average P/E of 26, but also below the company’s own five-year average P/E of 10.

Given Wall Street’s positive reaction to the investment — both HP and Berkshire shares are up nicely since the announcement — following Buffett’s coattails might not be a bad idea.

“We view Berkshire buying HPQ shares as a positive that validates HPQ’s strategy/deep value,” writes Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani in a note to investors.

Fine wine is a sweet comfort in any situation — and now it can make your investment portfolio a little more comfortable, too. Now a platform called Vinovest helps everyday buyers invest in fine wines — no sommelier certification required.

Invest Now

More from MoneyWise

Get a piece of commercial real estate

Enhance your portfolio with high-return commercial real estate

First National Realty Partners is the #1 option for accredited investors seeking superior risk-adjusted returns in the grocery-anchored necessity-based retail space.

While commercial real estate has always been reserved for a few elite investors, outperforming the S&P 500 over a 25-year period, First National Realty Partners allows you to access institutional-quality commercial real estate investments — without the leg work of finding deals yourself.

Invest with First National Realty Partners now.

What to Read Next

Disclaimer

The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.