How to buy Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) shares in Australia
Learn how to easily invest in Berkshire Hathaway shares.
These days a single stock in Warren Buffet's iconic company costs upwards of US$500,000. In the past, that hefty price tag meant Berkshire Hathaway shares were out of reach to most investors.
That's where Berkshire Hathaway Class B (BRK.B) shares come in. BRK.B shares were launched so that investors could purchase Berkshire shares at a much lower price point. In Australia, you have the option of purchasing both A or B Class shares, depending on the platform you use.
About Berkshire HathawayBerkshire Hathaway is involved in utilities, insurance and freight businesses worldwide. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, the company is known for its CEO Warren Buffett, a renowned American investor. Berkshire Hathaway trades on the New York Stock Exchange, where it offers class A (BRK.A) and class B (BRK.B) shares.
Should you buy Berkshire Hathaway Class A or Class B shares?
There are two types of Berkshire Hathaway shares available to investors – Class A (BRK.A) and Class B (BRK.B) shares. Regular investors wanting to buy shares in Berkshire Hathaway typically purchase Class B shares thanks to the lower price. B-shares are generally over 1/100th of the price of A-shares.
However, there are other differences that may make Class A shares the more attractive option:
- Class A shares have historically outperformed Class B.
- Class A shares can be converted into Class B shares, but the same is not true in reverse.
- Class B shares can split. However, Buffet has assured shareholders that Class A will never experience this.
- The status element of owning Class A will be attractive for some investors.
- Many platforms now offer fractional share trading, meaning you can more easily invest in fractions of Class A shares.
Australian investors can purchase either Class A or Class B shares depending on their preference and the trading platform they use.
While Class A shares may have been out of reach in the past, a number of trading platforms these days offer fractional share trading where fractions of stocks can be purchased. So instead of buying 1 BRK.A stock for US$500,000, you could instead buy a fraction of the stock for say $50.
Either way, Australian investors will need to find a trading platform that offers US stocks if they want to purchase Berkshire Hathaway stocks.
How to buy shares in Berkshire Hathaway
- Compare share trading platforms. To buy shares in a company listed in the US from Australia you'll need to find a trading platform that offers access to US stock markets. Look for a platform with low brokerage and foreign exchange fees.
- Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, which will typically include your ID and tax file number. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
- Search for Berkshire Hathaway. Find the share by name or ticker symbol: BRK-B. Research its history to confirm it's a solid investment that matches your financial goals.
- Purchase now or later. Buy today with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until Berkshire Hathaway reaches your desired price. To spread out your risk, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying using consistent intervals and amounts.
- Decide on how many to buy. At last close price of US$352.7, weigh your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimise risk through the market's ups and downs. You may be able to buy a fractional share of Berkshire Hathaway, depending on your broker.
- Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own a part of Berkshire Hathaway. Optimise your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights.
What's in this guide?
- Berkshire Hathaway key stats
- Compare share trading platforms
- Is Berkshire Hathaway stock a buy or sell?
- Berkshire Hathaway performance over time
- Is Berkshire Hathaway suitable for ethical investing?
- Are Berkshire Hathaway shares over-valued?
- Berkshire Hathaway's financials
- How volatile are Berkshire Hathaway shares?
- Does Berkshire Hathaway pay a dividend?
- Have Berkshire Hathaway shares ever split?
- Other common questions
Berkshire Hathaway stock price (NYSE:BRK-B)Use our graph to track the performance of BRK.B stocks over time.
Have Berkshire Hathaway's shares ever split?
Berkshire Hathaway's shares were split on a 50:1 basis on 21 January 2010. So if you had owned 1 share the day before the split, the next day you would own 50 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your Berkshire Hathaway shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 98% lower share price could have impacted the market appetite for Berkshire Hathaway shares which in turn could have impacted Berkshire Hathaway's share price.
Berkshire Hathaway shares at a glance
|52-week range||US$292.42 - US$373.34|
|50-day moving average||US$349.5612|
|200-day moving average||US$336.7804|
|Dividend yield||US$0 (3.31%)|
|Earnings per share (TTM)||US$35.1|
Berkshire Hathaway price performance over time
|1 week (2023-12-04)||-1.00%|
|1 month (2023-11-10)||0.72%|
|3 months (2023-09-11)||-3.40%|
|6 months (2023-06-09)||5.31%|
|1 year (2022-12-09)||15.24%|
|2 years (2021-12-10)||22.50%|
|3 years (2020-12-11)||55.96%|
|5 years (2018-12-11)||74.55%|
Compare trading platforms to buy Berkshire Hathaway shares
Is it a good time to buy Berkshire Hathaway stock?
The technical analysis gauge below displays real-time ratings for the timeframes you select. However, this is not a recommendation. It represents a technical analysis based on the most popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.
Is Berkshire Hathaway under- or over-valued?
Valuing Berkshire Hathaway stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of Berkshire Hathaway's overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge the value of a stock.
Berkshire Hathaway's P/E ratio
Berkshire Hathaway's current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 10x. In other words, Berkshire Hathaway shares trade at around 10x recent earnings.
That's relatively low compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the NASDAQ 100 at the end of 2019 (27.29). The low P/E ratio could mean that investors are pessimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're under-valued.
Berkshire Hathaway's PEG ratio
Berkshire Hathaway's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 10.0559. A low ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer better value, while a higher ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer worse value.
The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into Berkshire Hathaway's future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.
Berkshire Hathaway's EBITDA
Berkshire Hathaway's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is US$109.9 billion (£87.3 billion).
The EBITDA is a measure of a Berkshire Hathaway's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure stock profitability.
Berkshire Hathaway share price volatility
Over the last 12 months, Berkshire Hathaway's shares have ranged in value from as little as US$292.42 up to US$373.34. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".
Beta measures a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (NYSE average) beta is 1, while Berkshire Hathaway's is 0.86. This would suggest that Berkshire Hathaway's shares are less volatile than average (for this exchange).
Berkshire Hathaway financials
|Revenue TTM||US$349.2 billion|
|Gross profit TTM||US$-28,087,000,000|
|Return on assets TTM||6.36%|
|Return on equity TTM||15.54%|
|Market capitalisation||US$774.6 billion|
TTM: trailing 12 months
Berkshire Hathaway share dividends
We're not expecting Berkshire Hathaway to pay a dividend over the next 12 months.
Berkshire Hathaway's environmental, social and governance track record
Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like Berkshire Hathaway.
When it comes to ESG scores, lower is better, and lower scores are generally associated with lower risk for would-be investors.
Berkshire Hathaway's total ESG risk score
Total ESG risk: 19.08
Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and Berkshire Hathaway's overall score of 19.08 (as at 01/01/2019) is excellent – landing it in it in the 16th percentile of companies rated in the same sector.
ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like Berkshire Hathaway is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).
Berkshire Hathaway's environmental score
Environmental score: 3.6/100
Berkshire Hathaway's environmental score of 3.6 puts it squarely in the 6th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Berkshire Hathaway is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.
Berkshire Hathaway's social score
Social score: 7.75/100
Berkshire Hathaway's social score of 7.75 puts it squarely in the 6th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Berkshire Hathaway is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.
Berkshire Hathaway's governance score
Governance score: 17.22/100
Berkshire Hathaway's governance score puts it squarely in the 6th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that Berkshire Hathaway is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.
Berkshire Hathaway's controversy score
Controversy score: 1/5
ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. Berkshire Hathaway scored a 1 out of 5 for controversy – the highest score possible, reflecting that Berkshire Hathaway has managed to keep its nose clean.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) summary
|Total ESG score||19.08|
|Total ESG percentile||15.78|
|Environmental score percentile||6|
|Social score percentile||6|
|Governance score percentile||6|
|Level of controversy||1|
Berkshire Hathaway overview
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the insurance, freight rail transportation, and utility businesses worldwide. It provides property, casualty, life, accident, and health insurance and reinsurance; and operates railroad systems in North America. The company also generates, transmits, stores, and distributes electricity from natural gas, coal, wind, solar, hydroelectric, nuclear, and geothermal sources; operates natural gas distribution and storage facilities, interstate pipelines, liquefied natural gas facilities, and compressor and meter stations; and holds interest in coal mining assets. In addition, the company manufactures boxed chocolates and other confectionery products; specialty chemicals, metal cutting tools, and components for aerospace and power generation applications; flooring products; insulation, roofing, and engineered products; building and engineered components; paints and coatings; and bricks and masonry products, as well as offers manufactured and site-built home construction, and related lending and financial services. Further, it provides recreational vehicles, apparel and footwear products, jewelry, and custom picture framing products, as well as alkaline batteries; castings, forgings, fasteners/fastener systems, aerostructures, and precision components; and cobalt, nickel, and titanium alloys. Additionally, the company distributes televisions and information; franchises and services quick service restaurants; distributes electronic components; and offers logistics services, grocery and foodservice distribution services, and professional aviation training and shared aircraft ownership programs. It also retails automobiles; furniture, bedding, and accessories; household appliances, electronics, and computers; jewelry, watches, crystal, china, stemware, flatware, gifts, and collectibles; kitchenware; and motorcycle clothing and equipment. The company was incorporated in 1998 and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
Stocks similar to Berkshire Hathaway
30 December 2022: Berkshire Hathaway is a popular stock viewed by many investors and potential investors. Shares of this company have returned -2.2% over the past month. For the current quarter, Berkshire Hathaway is expected to post earnings of $3.31 per share, indicating a change of +1.2% from the year-ago quarter. This gives a measure of near-term performance for the business.
09 January 2023: Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company owned by Warren Buffett, has sold 1.058 million Hong Kong-listed shares of electric vehicle maker BYD at an average price of HK$191.44 ($24.52), (£21.57) per share, a stock exchange filing showed. Berkshire Hathaway has decreased its position size from 14.06% to 13.97%.
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