Buffett Likes U.S. Banks

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has increased its holding of financial services stocks to roughly $100 billion, about one-fifth of its total market capitalization. This according to an article inThe Wall Street Journal. “Berkshire’s position has built up over years and includes banks, payment companies, insurers and a ratings firm,” the article reports, with total holdings increasing from its 2010 level of 12% of market capitalization. It adds, “banks are often viewed as a proxy for… Read More

Why Buffett Likes Banks

While they may be known more for investing in insurance companies and firms that make and sell simple consumer goods, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are also quite fond of bank stocks these days. In fact, if combined into one company, Berkshire’s bank investments would represent a $50 billion-market-cap bank — the eighth-largest in the US. And in a recent piece for CNBC, Tim Mullaney says that Buffett’s big bank position shows a good deal… Read More

Buffett: Banks Won’t Be A Problem — “I Guarantee It”

Warren Buffett says banks will not cause major problems for the economy as they did during the 2008/2009 financial crisis — and he guarantees it. “The banks will not get this country in trouble, I guarantee it,” Buffett recently told Bloomberg. “The capital ratios are huge, the excesses on the asset side have been largely cleared out. … We own bank shares and I personally own stocks in banks … I do not see problems… Read More

Top Strategists Turning to Banks

Bank stocks have been getting little love amid the European debt crisis, but MarketWatch’s Mark Hulbert says some top-performing strategists have been diving into the much-maligned area recently. Hulbert looked at the stocks recently upgraded by some of the top performers he tracks via his Hulbert Financial Digest, and found that the banking industry was tied for second in terms of most upgrades. (Commercial vehicles ranked first.) “It is interesting to note, however, that there… Read More

Stattman High on Oil Firms, “Nibbling” at Bank Stocks

Blackrock’s Dennis Stattman, whose Global Allocation Institutional fund has been one of the better performing funds in its class over the past five and ten years, says he’s keying on companies that are based in developed markets but have exposure to the strong growth in emerging markets. Stattman also tells Bloomberg that he takes a longer-term approach to investing and doesn’t try to time the market in the short term. He says he doesn’t think… Read More

Top Manager Getting Less Defensive

Top mid-cap fund manager Jonathan Simon says he’s adding some risk to his portfolio heading into 2012, and is high on some regional banking stocks. Simon tells CNBC that he is particularly concerned with a company’s free cash flow, and how it uses that cash. “They have to have a very disciplined approach to capital allocation — maybe making acquisitions, paying down debt, paying a dividend or a stock buyback,” he says. “That’s the key.”… Read More