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Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A)

  • May. 16, 2013, 8:26 AM
    Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) credit rating is cut to AA with negative outlook from AA+ by S&P. "The lower credit rating ... better reflects our view of BRK's dependence on its core insurance operations for most of its dividend income ... only Burlington Northern has provided a significant portion of the total dividends paid from the operating companies to the holding company."
  • May. 15, 2013, 4:45 PM
    Another new position on the Berkshire (BRK.A) 13F is a $630M stake in Liberty Media (LMCA +0.4% AH), already a nice score as the stock's up nearly 15% from its Q1 level. (earlier on Berkshire 13F).
  • May. 15, 2013, 4:37 PM
    Buffett buys Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI +1.5% AH), the Berkshire (BRK.A) 13F filing showing a new position valued at more than $400M. Missing from the portfolio are previously held positions in General Dynamics (GD no change AH) and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM -1% AH).
  • May. 14, 2013, 3:52 PM
    "Interest rates are to asset prices sort of like gravity to the apple," said Warren Buffett at the Berkshire (BRK.A) annual meeting last week. "When interest rates are low there is little gravitational pull on asset prices ... To buy $85B/month (is) easy. Don't know what would happen if they tried to sell $85B/month." Peter Boodell's comprehensive notes from the Buffett and Munger Q&A.
  • May. 14, 2013, 8:48 AM
    Presenting at the London Value Conference, Michael Price pitches Hospira (HSP) - a stock the growth investors have unloaded to the value guys after the FDA shut down one of its largest plants. He expects the company to have completely recovered within 2 years. He's also bullish on HESS, trading at a 50% discount to intrinsic value amid its proxy fight with Elliot - the outcome of which will see 4-5 new directors, and a split or even buyout of the company. A bearish idea: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is 20% overvalued.
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  • May. 9, 2013, 9:52 AM
    "Berkshire issuing debt is effectively an efficient way to short the bond market (AGG, BND)," says fund manager (and BRK.A, BRK.B owner) Richard Cook, following Berkshire Hathaway Finance's $1B debt offering yesterday (5-year and 30-year paper). Proceeds will be used to redeem $1B of notes maturing this month. "I feel sorry for people that have clung to fixed-dollar investments," said Buffett earlier this week.
  • May. 7, 2013, 4:57 PM
    DaVita (DVA) enters into a standstill agreement with Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) limiting ownership to 25% of DVA's outstanding stock, putting the kabosh on rumors of a takeout. Speculation had been stoked late last year that the 'Oracle of Omaha' might be looking to buy the dialysis operator, after Berkshire disclosed that it had accumulated nearly 13% of DVA's outstanding stock.
  • May. 6, 2013, 8:52 AM
    Wells Fargo (WFC) +0.4% premarket as Warren Buffett tells CNBC Berkshire (BRK.A) has been adding to its stake "pretty much every month this year." Over the weekend, NY AG Schneiderman promised new enforcement actions against major financial firms, and expects "very significant liability." (Earlier: Schneiderman and Delaware AG Biden back off BofA).
  • May. 4, 2013, 6:48 PM
    Buffett and Munger (BRK.B) on Europe: Buffett would happily buy a big business there "tomorrow" because "Europe is not going away" and in his opinion they will fix the flaws in their monetary system. "They have to find a structure that will work and eventually they will," Buffett says. Munger: "Letting Greece into the EU was like using rat poison for whipping cream: an exceptionally stupid idea." (WSJ)
  • May. 4, 2013, 5:31 PM
    Doug Kass/ Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) afternoon Q&A roundup: Kass wonders if the contrast between Buffett's bathtub BofA investment and the weeks of due diligence that went into BRK's move into American Express shows The Oracle is now more interested in the game than the score. "I have every bit of the intensity, though it's not manifested in the same way," Buffett responds. Kass asks if, contrary to Buffett's aversion to short-selling, BRK would consider a $100M investment in a managed investment account at Seabreeze if the profits went to charity. Munger: "We don't like trading agony for money." Kass asks what qualifies Buffett's son to be Berkshire's next non executive chairman. "[My son] won't be running Berkshire, [just] safeguarding its culture," Buffett politely says. (WSJ, NY Times)
  • 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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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.