As the coronavirus pandemic weighs on its operating earnings and stock price, Berkshire Hathaway ramped up its stock repurchasing program even more in the third quarter, nearly doubling the record buyback from the second quarter.Warren Buffett’s conglomerate bought back $9 billion of its own stock, it was revealed Saturday in its third-quarter earnings report. That’s up big from the $5.1 billion level during the second quarter that turned heads when it was announced and brings Berkshire’s total buybacks to $15.7 billion for 2020.Berkshire repurchased more than $2.5 billion in Class A shares and about $6.7 billion in Class B stock during the quarter. This blew away the UBS estimate for a total quarterly buyback of just $3.2 billion.- Advertisement – In his annual letter released earlier this year, Buffett discussed when he and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger would decide to repurchase stock.“Our thinking, boiled down: Berkshire will buy back its stock only if a) Charlie and I believe that it is selling for less than it is worth and b) the company, upon completing the repurchase, is left with ample cash,” Buffett wrote. “Over time, we want Berkshire’s share count to go down. If the price-to-value discount (as we estimate it) widens, we will likely become more aggressive in purchasing shares. We will not, however, prop the stock at any level.”Buffett also defended the practice in general at the Berkshire annual meeting in May.“When the conditions are right, it should also be obvious to repurchase shares and there shouldn’t be the slightest taint to it any more than there is to dividends,” he said.Despite a nearly 20% comeback in the third quarter by Berkshire Hathaway’s class A shares, the stock is still widely underperforming the S&P 500 this year. The share have lost 8%, compared to a 10% total return for the S&P 500.Buffett’s buyback spree comes as the Oracle of Omaha has made relatively few big moves this year. In late August, Buffett announced that Berkshire had taken stakes of at least 5% in Japan’s five leading trading companies: Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., and Sumitomo Corp. But the company has announced no other major acquisitions this year.Even after the record buybacks this year, Berkshire’s cash pile still stands at $145.7 billion through the end of the third quarter.Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world. – Advertisement – Buffett’s repurchase spree comes amid a tough time for its operations as the global economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus, directly impacting the company’s wholly owned businesses which include railroads, utilities and insurance.Berkshire said its operating earnings came in at $5.478 billion, down more than 30% from the year-earlier period. But the company’s net earnings — which account for Berkshire’s big investments in the public market like Apple — skyrocketed more than 82% on a year-over-year basis to $30.137 billion. Apple, Berkshire’s biggest stock holding, rallied more than 26% in the third quarter. Coca-Cola gained 10.5% over that time period. Though Buffett has cautioned investors not to pay attention to those net earnings because the investing gains are unrealized and volatile.Does Buffett think the stock is cheap?- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Warren BuffettGerard Miller | CNBC
The government aims to jumpstart stalled renewable energy projects through a recently issued regulation as it races against time to catch up with Indonesia’s green energy commitments.The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry issued last month a regulation that scraps the unpopular build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) scheme. Many renewable energy players have said the scheme undermined their projects’ bankability.The new regulation also enables Indonesia’s sole off taker, state-owned PLN, to sign power purchase agreements without conducting a bid under certain conditions. Among the frequently complained headwinds is Ministerial Regulation No. 50/2017 – dubbed “Permen 50”. This was the regulation that introduced the BOOT scheme and erased a feed-in-tariff pricing policy, which is widely considered to be a very effective means of boosting green energy growth.As a result, out of 75 renewable energy projects signed between 2017 and 2018 in Indonesia, 27 remain without financial close and five have been terminated as of October last year, according to records from Jakarta-based energy think tank Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR).“This revision is temporary by nature. It gives a legal basis for stalled projects and is a stop-gap measure while waiting for a new pricing scheme under the Perpres,” IESR executive director Fabby Tumiwa told the Post.Indonesia did not sign any new renewable energy contracts last year and industry investment shortfall – the difference between actual and targeted funding – was the greatest compared to the mining, electrification and oil and gas industries.Read also: Coal plant expansion wipes out green energy progressThe new regulation also introduces guarantees for government-backed renewable plants “in improving their economics.” The regulation authorizes the energy minister to order state-owned power firm PLN to buy electricity from hydropower plants attached to government-built reservoirs from state-funded waste-to-energy power plants and from state-funded renewable energy power plants. The guarantees assume such government-backed projects operate in the best public interest. Hydropower and waste-to-power plants, for instance, serve a secondary role of providing irrigation and waste management systems, respectively.Harris also said the energy ministry was in talks with PLN. However, the electricity company’s spokesman, Dwi Suryo Abdullah, told the Post he was unaware of the changes.PLN, the company responsible for offtaking power under the new regulation, has been experiencing financial constraints due to competing ambitions of developing 35,000 megawatts (MW) worth of new power plants while also keeping electricity selling prices at a minimum. Both ambitions are at the behest of the government.Topics : The ministry’s various renewables director, Harris, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that these “few changes” were meant to get stalled renewable projects going before a more powerful presidential regulation (Perpres) on renewable electricity pricing – slated to be issued this year – put new projects on the table.”Passing the Perpres will take time but if we don’t issue regulations immediately, the growth of renewables will be stalled,” he said.Read also: Indonesia likely to miss renewable energy target – againThe government is aiming for renewables to contribute 23 percent of power production by 2025, yet regulatory headwinds are setting the country back from achieving its goal. Regulation stipulates that Indonesia should have reached a 17.5 percent renewable power mix by 2019 yet the country only hit 12.36 percent that year.
Middlesex are hoping Toby Roland-Jones will be able to return to training next week.The 23-year-old is currently receiving treatment for a shin problem and was not included in the squad for the County Championship match at Surrey.Roland-Jones enjoyed an impressive season for Middlesex after signing a three-year contract in August 2010.AdChoices广告