(Bloomberg) — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. purchased again a file $24.7 billion of its personal inventory final yr and mentioned there’s extra to come back, because the conglomerate struggled to search out different methods to deploy its huge pile of money.The corporate’s buy of $9 billion of shares within the fourth quarter matched a file set within the earlier three-month interval, Buffett mentioned Saturday in his annual letter to traders.“Berkshire has repurchased extra shares since year-end, and is more likely to additional scale back its share depend sooner or later,” Buffett, 90, mentioned within the letter. “That motion elevated your possession in all of Berkshire’s companies by 5.2% with out requiring you to a lot as contact your pockets.”Buffett’s letter, a closely-watched missive from one of many world’s most famed traders, devoted massive parts to the affect of repurchases, one in all Berkshire’s greatest capital-deployment strikes final yr because it “made no sizable acquisitions.” He additionally shared his ideas on the technique of conglomerates, praising companies comparable to Berkshire’s insurance coverage operations and railroad.He shied away from a few of the most controversial problems with the day, together with politics, the pandemic and racial equality. However Buffett stood by his optimism for America, saying that progress on reaching a “extra excellent union” was uneven however nonetheless transferring ahead.“Our unwavering conclusion: By no means guess towards America,” he mentioned.There was a small quantity of progress in paring the money pile, which fell 5% within the fourth quarter to $138.three billion. Buffett has struggled to maintain tempo with the circulate in recent times as Berkshire threw off money sooner than he may discover higher-returning property to snap up.Apple Inc. is one in all Berkshire’s prime three most-valuable property, at $120 billion, Buffett mentioned. The expertise firm has mentioned it intends to repurchase its personal shares as properly.“The maths of repurchases grinds away slowly, however will be highly effective over time,” Buffett mentioned. “The method affords a easy means for traders to personal an ever-expanding portion of remarkable companies.”Individually, Buffett acknowledged that the $11 billion writedown Berkshire took final yr was nearly completely as a result of what he conceded was a “mistake” in 2016, when he paid an excessive amount of for Precision Castparts. Precision is a high quality firm, Buffett mentioned, however he admitted he made an enormous error.“I used to be flawed, nevertheless, in judging the typical quantity of future earnings and, consequently, flawed in my calculation of the correct worth to pay for the enterprise,” Buffett mentioned within the letter.Inventory PortfolioSwings in Berkshire’s huge $281.2 billion inventory portfolio feed into the corporate’s internet earnings due to an accounting technicality. That drove the determine up 23% to $35.eight billion within the fourth quarter from a yr earlier.Berkshire’s Class A shares gained roughly 2.4% final yr, falling in need of the 16% improve within the S&P 500.The billionaire solely briefly touched on one of many largest questions looming over Berkshire — how lengthy he would possibly keep on the helm. He as soon as once more referenced a favourite CEO, Mrs. Blumkin, who based Nebraska Furnishings Mart. She labored till she was 103 — “a ridiculously untimely retirement age as judged by Charlie and me,” Buffett wrote, referring to Charlie Munger, 97, a Berkshire vice chairman.For extra articles like this, please go to us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to remain forward with probably the most trusted enterprise information supply.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.