Buffett’s Berkshire Bets Over $860 Million on Amazon

Berkshire Hathaway revealed that its new wager on Amazon totaled $860.6 million at the end of March, according to an article in Bloomberg that outlines key takeaways from the conglomerate’s recent 13F filing. The size of the investment, the article says, “gives more clarity to the wager that Buffett disclosed days before his annual shareholder meeting earlier in May” and “underscores the growing influence of Buffett’s investing deputies, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler,” who were… Read More

Quiet Collaboration at Berkshire Hathaway

The environment at Berkshire Hathaway has changed from one where myriad companies run independently of each other to one where top executives of the different units gather regularly to share strategies and best practices. This according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. The article reports that last year the company’s subsidiary CEOs started reporting to Buffett’s lieutenants, Ajit Jain and Greg Abel, rather than to Buffett himself, adding, “The rise in internal collaboration,… Read More

Buffett’s Course Correction on Airlines

After decades of swearing off the sector, Berkshire Hathaway’s airline holdings make it among the biggest shareholders in the four largest U.S. carriers, and CEO Warren Buffett said he wouldn’t rule out owning one. This according to an article in Bloomberg. The comment is triggering chatter about which airline Buffett might acquire, especially since the legendary CEO is looking for a place to park some of Berkshire’s $112 billion (as of year-end 2018) in cash.… Read More

High Hopes for Buffett’s Annual Letter

A Bloomberg article published prior to the release of this year’s letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders notes that Warren Buffett “has provided himself with plenty of fodder—if only he’ll use it to answer two nagging questions for investors:” Does the company’s recently “relatively new, and recently erratic, interest in technology investments” signal anything to its investors? “If Buffett didn’t find a “significant acquisition in December’s market swoon, then when will he?” The article notes that… Read More

Takeaways from Berkshire’s Annual Letter to Shareholders

Here are some highlights of Warren Buffett’s widely-anticipated annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: Format Change While for thirty years the billionaire investing legend has opened with a paragraph concerning the change in the firm’s per-share book value, this year he wrote, “It’s now time to abandon that practice,” citing three reasons for the change: Berkshire has “gradually morphed from a company whose assets are concentrated in marketable stocks into one whose major value resides… Read More

Learning from Buffett’s Performance

In my last article, I looked at the stocks owned by Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway and asked the question, “How Active is Buffett’s Portfolio?”. As we found out, the answer is very active in terms of how different the equity portfolio looks vs. the broader market index. The combination of Buffett’s portfolio and investing acumen has translated into one of the best investment track records in history. There are some interesting observations we can… Read More

Jain’s Stock Buy a Bullish Sign for Berkshire Shares

A recent Barron’s article characterized last month’s “outsized” purchase of $19.9 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway common A shares by the company’s vice chairman Ajit Jain as a bullish sign for the stock. It says that the “veteran insurance mastermind” Jain seemed to be taking advantage of a 12% decline in Berkshire class A shares from their October high of around $336,000, when he paid an average of $296,515 for 67 shares, the article notes.… Read More

Berkshire Insurers Weather Storms and See Big Gains

A Bloomberg article reports that Berkshire Hathaway’s operating profit doubled last quarter, due in part to increased train traffic and an uptick in demand for electronic components. “The biggest boost,” it adds, “came from the insurance division, where catastrophe costs fell almost 90 percent from last year ‘s disastrous third quarter, the sharpest decline among all major publicly-traded U.S. insurers.” Operating income rose to $6.88 billion from $3.44 billion in the third quarter of 2017.… Read More

Berkshire Hathaway Breaks Tradition with Fintech Investments

Todd Combs, one of Berkshire’s two top money managers, led the conglomerate’s recent $600 million investment in two fintech companies focused on emerging markets—Paytm and StoneCo. This according to an article in CNBC.com. This is a departure from Berkshire’s typical strategy of buying stakes in blue chip American companies, the article notes, citing IBM, Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo as Buffett’s typical picks. However, “while Berkshire has stayed away from early-stage tech plays,” the article says,… Read More

Buffett Repurchases Over $900 Million in Berkshire Stock

An article in The Wall Street Journal reports that Berkshire Hathaway repurchased $928 million in stock in the third quarter of 2018, calling it a rare move that indicated Chairman Warren Buffett sees a dearth of appealing investment options for his company’s large cash balances. This is the first repurchase since 2012, the article says, reflecting the “the scarcity of attractively priced projects and deals that can satiate yield-hungry investors and firms more than nine… Read More