Both classes of
stock are in the red for the year, and a foundation controlled by Vice Chairman Ajit Jain recently sold shares.
Berkshire Hathaway’s (ticker:
) class A and B shares have year-to-date losses of 4.7% and 4.8%, respectively. By comparison, the
S&P 500 index,
a broad measure of the market, has gained 7.6% so far in 2020.
Berkshire Hathaway, helmed by legendary investor
, has trailed the market in recent years. We noted in February that an investor who put $1,000 in Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1965 would have $20 million, against $175,000 for a similar investment in the S&P 500—despite Berkshire Hathaway’s underperformance to the S&P 500 in the last decade. A high-profile recent misstep was an investment in Kraft Heinz (KHC) stock, which tumbled last year after the company took $15 billion in writedowns, slashed its dividend, and provided disappointing financial forecasts.
The Jain Foundation sold 7,000 class B Berkshire Hathaway shares on Sept. 30 for $1.49 million, an average per-share price of $213. The foundation now owns 185,095 class B shares, according to a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Jain and his wife Tinku are chairs of the foundation, which he established in the hopes of curing dysferlinopathy, which afflicts their son.
The foundation declined to comment on the stock sale, and didn’t make Ajit Jain available for comment. Berkshire Hathaway didn’t respond to a request to make Ajit Jain available for comment.
The Jain Foundation also sold Berkshire Hathaway stock earlier this year. On July 1, it sold 5,600 class B shares for $995,316, a per-share average of $177.74. Before this year, the foundation last sold Berkshire Hathaway stock in November 2018, when it sold 5,700 class B shares for $1.25 million, a per-share average of $219.69.
Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.