At Berkshire Hathaway’s closing price of $266,013 per class A share on March 1, 2017, its price to book value ratio equals 1.55 which approximates its 30 year average of 1.58. Berkshire’s book value at year end 2016 was $172,108 per class A share. (Berkshire’s class A shares rose $8,913 per share or 3.47% on March 1.)
Warren Buffett has stated that he would buy back shares at prices below 120% of book value, which currently would equal prices below $206,530 per class A share.
Berkshire’s intrinsic value continues to increase relative to its book value as the percentage of total assets represented by its common stock portfolio declines. At year end 2016, Berkshire’s investment in equity securities ($120 billion) represented only 19% of its total assets ($620 billion). By contrast, in Berkshire’s early years, its common stock portfolio represented the overwhelming majority of its assets.