By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said on Wednesday it had sold about 5.5 million shares of HP, partly to recoup its investment in the big and failing maker of personal computers and printers.
Berkshire will sell its shares for $158 million this week, reducing its stake in HP to $3.27 billion, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Buffett’s company now owns 11.7% of HP shares, down from 12.2% before the sale, SEC filings show.
Wednesday’s filing does not say why Berkshire sold the shares. Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for comment after trading hours.
Berkshire says HP’s stock price fell 19% in April 2022.
That announcement sent HP’s stock price up 14.8 percent to $40.06 the next day. The shares closed up 61 cents at $28.33 on Wednesday.
In the year On August 29, HP cut its forecast for full-year profit after battling a year-long slump in personal computers and sluggish demand from China.
Then on Monday, HP disclosed material weaknesses in financial reporting related to one of its customers and an application for payment for certain sales incentive programs.
Companies’ share prices often rise when Berkshire announces new shares, reflecting investors’ appreciation for Buffett, the world’s fifth-richest person, according to Forbes magazine.
Stock prices, by contrast, sometimes fall when Berkshire announces sales.
Buffett doesn’t normally invest in technology companies, although iPhone maker Apple made up half of Berkshire’s $353.4 billion equity portfolio at the end of June.
Berkshire is based in Omaha, Nebraska. It also owns dozens of businesses, including BNSF Railroad and Geco Auto Insurance.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lincoln Fest)