After the announcement, Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. rose 2.4 percent to close at $134,000. The more heavily traded Class B shares also closed up 2.4 percent, at $89.32.
"I think it's probably a positive," Shields said. "In terms of reality, the buyback authorization for a company that's going to be flush with cash for a long time basically serves as a floor to the shares."
Shields said the timing of the new repurchase announcement was a bit odd because it appeared like Berkshire was increasing the limit to 120 percent, so it could buy out the longtime shareholder.
Berkshire owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, including insurance, clothing, newspaper, and jewelry firms, but more than half the company's profits typically come from its utility, tool, railroad, manufacturing and chemical companies. It has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and IBM.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com