April 25, 2019 / 9:27 PM / a year ago

Warren Buffett says Berkshire could buy back $100 billion stock: FT

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett said his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc could repurchase as much as $100 billion of its stock, the Financial Times said on Thursday without providing a time frame, citing a recent interview with the billionaire.

FILE PHOTO: Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, pauses while playing bridge as part of the company annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska U.S. May 6, 2018. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Buffett had said in his February annual letter to shareholders that over time Berkshire would likely be a “significant” buyer of its own stock, when it traded below the Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s estimate of its intrinsic value.

Berkshire repurchased $1.3 billion of its stock last year, after Buffett loosened the company’s buyback criteria.

The buybacks began in part because of Buffett’s inability to make a major acquisition, a significant reason Berkshire ended 2018 with $111.9 billion of cash and equivalents.

In the interview, Buffett “waved off” the idea of paying a shareholder dividend.

He also lamented the prospect of a time when Berkshire’s stock traded at a fair price, and other companies and stocks also looked expensive. “That’s my nightmare,” he said.

Berkshire’s market value is more than $520 billion, based on reported shares outstanding.

Buffett, 88, has run Berkshire since 1965, and has not publicly signaled any intention to stop.

“I have more fun here than I think any 88-year-old is having, virtually, in the world,” he said in the interview from Berkshire’s headquarters.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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