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Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A)

  • May. 4, 2013, 1:34 PM
    More from Omaha: Andrew Ross Sorkin asks if Dodd-Frank banking rules will affect the profitability of Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) investments. Buffett says investments in US Bancorp (USB), M&T Bank (MTB), and similar holdings are not likely to be disproportionately affected, although returns on tangible equity at some holdings will be lower going forward. Buffett also opines on speculation, saying subsequent bubbles will not likely be the fault of the financial sector. Munger: "I do not see why massive derivative books should be mixed up with insured deposits ... [I don't like] bankers acting like investment bankers." (NY Times, WSJ)
  • May. 4, 2013, 12:42 PM
    Doug Kass/ Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) midday Q&A roundup: After calling himself "Daniel in the lion's den," Kass asks if Berkshire is now more like an index fund since it hunts primarily for "elephants" (e.g. Burlington Northern, Heinz) rather than "gazelles." Buffett says growth may slow, but BRK will still generate lots of value. Kass wonders if Buffett's successor will have the same opportunistic, deal-making prowess — Buffett says BRK will still be the place to which companies turn (think Goldman in '08) in times of distress. Kass wants to know if Buffett plans to breakup Berkshire à la Henry Earl Singleton. That would "create poorer results," Buffett responds. (WSJ, NY Times)
  • May. 4, 2013, 12:26 PM
    Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) will "be the same" once he is gone and claims that he and the board are "solidly in agreement" on who will be his successor. Buffett says Doug Kass still hasn't convinced him to sell his shares and notes his successor may in fact "have more brains, more energy, and more passion" than himself. Most importantly Buffett notes, any new CEO will preserve the company's deep-seated corporate culture.
  • May. 4, 2013, 10:12 AM
    It's movie time in Omaha at Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.B) shareholder meeting. In one particularly amusing clip, Charlie Munger calls Buffett to discuss the Dow and Apple's massive cash position. Buffett doesn't want to hear it — he's busy discussing a potential role as the villain in the next Terminator movie with his agent. The jovial tone is dampened in an ensuing clip: "Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless." (NY Times)
  • May. 3, 2013, 6:07 PM
    More on Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) Q1: The increase in insurance underwriting profits is impressive, as the 10-Q shows net underwriting gains were almost 17 times higher than Q1 2012 ($901M versus $54M), with pre-tax underwriting more than doubling at GEICO. (Previous: I, II)
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  • May. 3, 2013, 5:32 PM
    More from Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) 10-Q: Net income (which includes investment and derivatives results) of $4.89B ($2,977/share), up 50% Y/Y. As of March 31, book value up 5.5% Q/Q to $120,525/share; insurance float of about $73B. Berk-enstock begins tonight in Omaha, Neb.
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  • May. 3, 2013, 5:08 PM
    Berkshire Hathaway (class A) (BRK.A): Q1 operating earnings of $2,302/share (class A), vs. estimates of $1,995.34. Operating earnings breakdown: Insurance underwriting of $901M; Insurance investment income of $799M; non-insurance businesses, $2.245B; other, -$163M. (10-Q)
  • May. 3, 2013, 1:35 PM
    Charlie Munger (BRK.A) says one would have to be "stark raving mad" to run Berkshire and "not want another Burlington Northern," implying that the company would very much like to pursue further giant acquisitions. Nonetheless, "the prices being paid for businesses are very high" thanks to rock bottom interest rates: "Just because you like it doesn't mean the world will give it to you," Munger counsels. More folksy wisdom to come tomorrow at Berkshire's annual meeting. (Reuters)
  • May. 3, 2013, 11:54 AM
    "What Cyprus demonstrates is an old truth," says Charlie Munger (BRK.B). "You can't trust bankers to govern themselves ... They are like heroin addicts." High Frequency Trading? Being a long-term investor, he's not too concerned, but calls it "legalized front-running." The jobs number? What's that? The Berkshire annual meeting is tomorrow.
  • May. 3, 2013, 7:31 AM
    "We would like to get into the commercial insurance business very big time," says Warren Buffett, asked about Berkshire's (BRK.B) hiring of 4 P&C execs from AIG. Buffett says the 4 initiated the move themselves, maybe prompted by AIG's scaling back of coverage in capital-intensive areas.
  • May. 1, 2013, 11:04 AM
    Warren Buffett expands his bet on Israeli manufacturer International Metalworking - also known as Iscar - with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) agreeing to pay $2.05B for the 20% of the company it doesn't already own. Buffett counts Iscar as among his "powerhouse five" non-insurance operations. Other members are Marmon, Burlington Northern, Lubrizol, and MidAmerican.
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  • Apr. 26, 2013, 11:42 AM
    AIG loses talent to Berkshire Hathway (BRK.B), the House of Buffett grabbing 4 senior executives experienced with insuring large and unusual risks, reports the WSJ. The hires will help Berkshire develop its "excess-and-surplus" business line, writes The Insurance Insider, historically one of AIG's largest and most successful operations. AIG: "(We have) a seasoned and very deep bench."
  • Mar. 28, 2013, 11:30 AM
    Swiss Re will book a gain of about $100M in Q1 after settling with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) in a dispute over a reinsurance deal. Berkshire booked a loss of $642M in 2011, claiming it was due to a shortcoming in information provided by Swiss Re. Under the deal, Berkshire's total losses will be capped at $1.05B, down from $1.5B originally.
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  • Mar. 26, 2013, 12:46 PM
    More on Goldman/Buffett: The amended warrant deal looks to make Berkshire (BRK.B) one of the top 10 holders of Goldman (GS), with about a 2% stake - all without costing Berkshire any additional money. For Goldman - under the Fed's watchful eye on capital levels - it''s a far less dilutive deal than what it might have faced. GS -0.2% after an early 1.5% pop.
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  • Mar. 26, 2013, 8:59 AM
    Warren Buffett (BRK.B) becomes a long-term investor in Goldman Sachs, agreeing to amend his warrant agreement to accept shares for any difference between the $115 exercise price and the value of the stock on Oct. 1, 2013. Buffett: "We intend to hold a significant investment in Goldman Sachs." GS +1.4% premarket. (PR)
  • Mar. 24, 2013, 6:00 AM
    H.J. Heinz (HNZ) has sold $3.1B of junk-rated bonds to help pay for its LBO by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and 3G Capital. The amount was well above the $2.1B initially planned and yielded record-low interest rates for speculative-grade debt.
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Company Description
Berkshire Hathaway Inc is a conglomerate holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of business activities, including property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, service and retailing.