Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is a multibillion-dollar holding company led by Warren Buffett. Bolstered by its insurance businesses, including GEICO, the company has created room to invest in other industries such as railroads, clothing, and jewelry. Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have been rewarded heavily throughout the company's history, with shares consistently trading at over $300,000. As of April 22, 2019 market close, Class A shares were valued at $314,100.
In July 2018, Berkshire Hathaway reported it granted top employees more flexibility to spend cash by repurchasing shares. That means CEO Warren Buffett and vice chairman Charlie Munger can now authorize buybacks when both see the repurchase price is below Berkshire’s intrinsic value.
Berkshire released Q3 2018 earnings in February 2019. The multinational conglomerate reported operating profits of $5.72 billion this quarter, compared to $3.34 billion over the same period last year.
Here's a look at the top institutional shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway class A stock.
Fidelity Management and Research Company (FMR)
Fidelity Management and Research Company (FMR) is the largest institutional holder of Berkshire's class A stock with 29,615 shares as of Dec. 30, 2018. Fidelity holds shares of Berkshire Hathaway through its various funds, with the firm's total shares representing 4.09% of the company.
Fidelity Management and Research Company is a privately-owned subsidiary of investment management company Fidelity. Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity is one of the largest asset managers in the world, managing a portfolio of over $2.46 trillion as of March 2018. The firm is currently led by president and chief executive officer Abigail Johnson.
FMR has three fund divisions: Equity, high-income, and fixed-income.
Capital World Investors
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Capital World Investors is a subsidiary of Capital Research and Management Company. It is the second-largest institutional shareholder of Berkshire class A stock with 22,366 shares as of Dec. 30, 2018. These shares represent 3.09% of Berkshire Hathaway's outstanding shares.
Capital is a privately-owned investment manager. Through in-house research and market analysis, the firm manages a diversified portfolio of investments including U.S. and international fixed-income securities, bonds, loan participations, mortgage-backed securities, and municipal bonds. Capital Research and Management Company is a subsidiary of Capital Group Companies, which manages the American Funds line of mutual funds.
Capital World Investors' estimated assets under management.
Cedar Brook Financial Partners
The third largest institutional investor, Cedar Brook Financial Partners, holds 15,014 Berkshire Hathaway's class A shares as of Dec. 30, 2018. This represents 2.07% of the company's outstanding shares.
Cedar Brook is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and provides financial planning and consulting services. It offers risk and wealth management services, retirement and insurance planning, and employee benefit consulting. The firm's client base ranges from individuals and families to business owners, executives, and other professionals.
This New York City-based firm is the fourth-largest institutional holder of class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway. As of Dec. 30, 2018, First Manhattan held 14,328 shares which represent 1.98% of the company's outstanding stock.
First Manhattan is a private firm with more than $16 billion in assets under management, according to its website. Founded in 1964, it provides a variety of services including investment and retirement account management for individuals, partnerships, trusts, and institutional clients. The firm focuses on building stock portfolios, with a goal of capital appreciation.
- Berkshire Hathaway's class A shares have consistently traded over $300,000.
- Fidelity Management and Research Company is the top institutional holder of the company's class A shares as of Dec. 30, 2018.
- Capital World Investors, Cedar Brook Financial, and First Manhattan make up the second-, third-, and fourth-largest holders of class A shares.
Berkshire Hathaway Class B Shares
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) initiated class B shares in 1996 in response to the creation of unit investment trusts (UIT) which held the expensive class A shares. The trusts were designed to distribute units representing fractional ownership in class A shares, trading well above $20,000 at the time, which smaller investors could afford.
Berkshire Hathaway class B stock closed at $209.49 on April 22, 2019. The top five institutional shareholders of class B stock are, in order, Vanguard Group, Blackrock, State Street Corporation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The largest holder of class B shares, Vanguard Group, owns 135.99 million shares of the company.