How A German Business May Have Snookered Berkshire Hathaway & Buffett

Within a few weeks after Berkshire Hathaway purchase of what appeared to be a solid German pipe making business, a whistleblower’s tip ended up uncovering fake sales and profit data and hacked computer systems. This according to an article in The New York Times. “What looked like a profitable German manufacturer of specialized pipes for the oil and gas industry was, in fact, nearly bankrupt,” the article reports. The acquisition of the company, “Wilhelm Schulz,… Read More

Berkshire’s Big Weakness Revealed in Crisis

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway “has always defied neat categorization,” but his quiet market response to the recent crisis has “fueled questions about what shareholders actually get when they invest in Berkshire.” This according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The article notes that Berkshire has lagged the broader market over the past five years partly because the conglomerate’s mammoth size (market value of $441 billion) means that Buffett needs “bigger buyouts or larger stock purchases… Read More

Berkshire Hathaway Dumps Holdings in Goldman

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which funneled $5 billion into Goldman Sachs Holdings in 2008, “slashed the bulk of its holdings” during the first quarter of this year. “The sale reflects a coda of sorts to an investment born of the financial crisis,” the article notes, adding that Berkshire’s 2008 investment represented a vote of confidence “during a period of existential uncertainty on Wall Street.” One of Goldman’s… Read More

Why has Warren Buffett Gone Quiet in the Market?

Last year, Warren Buffett resisted pressure to buy back Berkshire Hathaway stock, pay a dividend or “be more aggressive with investments,” a strategy that seems to be paying off. This according to a recent Barron’s article.  “Instead, Buffett let cash build on Berkshire’s balance sheet,” the article notes. “With some $128 billion in cash and equivalents on hand, he stood poised to capitalize as the markets imploded in March.” The 89-year-old investing legend has been… Read More

Berkshire and Others Sitting on Piles of Cash

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is one of several behemoth companies (including Apple and Google parent Alphabet) “sitting on large cash positions that give them the wherewithal to ride out a prolonged weak stretch in the economy.” This according to a recent Barron’s article. Buffett’s decision to sit on $125 billion in cash (as of the end  of 2019) “underscores the company’s financial strength and helps make Berkshire among the most defensive big stocks in a… Read More

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Sells Part of Delta and Southwest Stakes

Regulatory filings show that last week, Berkshire Hathaway sold nearly 13 million of its Delta shares (for about $314 million) and about 2.3 million in Southwest shares (for about $74 million). This according to a recent CNBC article. Berkshire—among the biggest shareholders of the four largest U.S. airlines, offered no reason for the sale but the article noted that they came “as the coronavirus pandemic drives the airline industry into perhaps its biggest crisis ever.” It… Read More

Berkshire Hathaway and a Buffett-less Future

As Warren Buffett approaches his ninetieth birthday, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders might be worrying about the company’s future, according to a recent article in Barron’s. But the article outlines several issues that could be “resolved in a post-Buffett era.” Here are some highlights: New leadership could “break up the conglomerate to unlock value—or at least be more amenable to an idea that Buffett opposes:” Although Buffett has long argued that Berkshire is better as a conglomerate,… Read More

Buffett Sells Newspaper Business

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have agreed to sell BH Media and the Buffalo News to Lee Enterprises, Inc., for $140 million in cash, marking a “rare divestiture after he spent years snapping up local newspapers.” This according to an article in Bloomberg. Buffett, who reportedly first invested in the industry to capitalize on strong local advertising revenues, said last year that most newspapers are “toast” because of changing economics. The article notes that BH… Read More

Buffett’s Resolutions for 2020

This past year was “unremarkable” for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as the conglomerate’s cash hoards continued to grow and any “elephant” acquisitions remained elusive. This according to a recent article in Bloomberg. The article notes that although the past year was “boring” for Berkshire, it marked the end of a “transformative” decade that included the following events: Berkshire’s purchase of BNSF, “America’s most expansive railroad systems” as well as recognizable brands such as Duracell and… Read More

Buffett Lieutenant Named to Head Berkshire’s Geico Unit

Todd Combs is to become chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway’s car insurer Geico on January 1st, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. “The move marks a major responsibility shift for 48-year old Mr. Combs,” the article says, adding that CEO Warren Buffett runs most of Berkshire’s investments with help from Combs (who currently oversees about $14 billion of the firm’s investment portfolio) and another portfolio manager. Combs will take over the… Read More