Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway has just urged Berkshire shareholders to vote against a current proposal that they will consider spending $48.2 billion worth of cash on a “meaningful” dividend.
According to a proxy filing from Berkshire on Friday, a Cincinnati resident named David Witt, owner of nearly $8600 worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock, is going to propose this payout at the annual meeting on May 3.
Berkshire Hathaway has not paid out a cash dividend since 1967.
“Whereas the corporation has more money than it needs and since the owners unlike Warren are not multibillionaires, the board shall consider paying a meaningful annual dividend on the shares,” said Witt’s proposal. He used Buffett’s terminology and referred to shareholders as owners.
Buffett was not available to comment.
Buffett’s $58.2 billion of net worth currently has him as the fourth richest person in the world, we learned from Forbes magazine last month.
In opposition to David Witt’s proposal, the Berkshire Hathaway board of directors already considers whether or not it should retain all company earnings on a yearly basis.
The 83-year-old Buffett continues to maintain that he is better capable of generating better returns through investments like Wells Fargo and Company and acquisitions like Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.
In 2011, Buffett mentioned to shareholders that he felt Berkshire Hathaway’s share price should drop if the company did eventually decide to pay a dividend. Buffett also desires to keep a cash cushion of $20 billion on hand.