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Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A)

  • Dec. 12, 2014, 3:08 PM
    • With 2015 marking the golden anniversary for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) under "current management," Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders will contain a bonus, writes Anupreeta Das - his vision for the company's next 50 years.
    • Another bonus: Buffett's partner in crime Charlie Munger will also put pen to paper to talk about his vision for the coming five decades.
    • Buffett and Munger have agreed not to read each other's accounts until shortly before Berkshire reports full-year results and releases the letters publicly at the end of February. They've also agreed not to change a word of their letters after reading the other's piece.
  • Dec. 8, 2014, 7:50 AM
    • Its the first permit to sell nonlife insurance in Asia for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), whose Specialty Insurance unit is in the process of expanding globally. Berkshire made a lot of noise one year ago when it poached a number of AIG executives to work at the division.
    • Buffett in June 2013: "It's official: We are moving into commercial insurance in a substantial way."
  • Dec. 1, 2014, 7:46 AM
    • Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT) agrees to sell its engineered chemistry and Integrity drilling fluids business to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) unit Lubrizol Corp. for $750M in cash plus a potential increase of $75M for an earnout tied to the post-closing performance of the businesses.
    • WFT says the sale is another step in its plan to divest non-core businesses and will bring total 2014 cash divestiture proceeds to ~$1.8B, implying a net debt of $6.6B-$6.8B at year end.
  • Nov. 24, 2014, 11:58 AM
    • Electric utilities from Minnesota to Texas are trying to pressure Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A, [BRK.B]]) BNSF Railway to speed up deliveries of coal on its congested tracks before the worst winter weather hits.
    • One group of utilities has petitioned federal regulators to impose a timetable on BNSF to add workers and improve tracks leading east from coal fields in Wyoming; some of the group’s utilities depend on BNSF, one of the largest shippers of coal from the West, for their coal supply, and they say they do not have an alternative.
    • Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL), which owns utilities in eight states, says all its coal plants served by BNSF have less than 30 days’ worth of coal; Allete’s (NYSE:ALE) Minnesota Power temporarily shut two smaller coal plants in September to conserve coal for its large coal plant in Cohasset.
    • Coal producers also are struggling to cope with the rail service problems; Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) says coal shipments from its Western operations, including Wyoming mines that supply power plants in Minnesota, fell 2% in Q3 because customers could not find enough rail capacity.
  • Nov. 22, 2014, 11:49 AM
    • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) plans to introduce Powermat wireless charging stations at close to 200 stores in the San Francisco region.
    • The Powermat cuts out cords in the charging process by using a process called inductively coupled power transfer.
    • A broader roll-out of the technology by Starbucks is planned across the U.S. and Europe within a year.
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) is also an early adopter of the Powermat wireless charging system with integration in the 2015 Cadillac ATS. The automaker is an investor in Powermat through its nimble VC arm.
    • Duracell sits right smack in the middle of the Powermat innovation as the company with the brand and manufacturing capabilities to aim high. The swap of the business from profit-focused Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) to strategic-minded Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) sets up well for investments in long-term growth, note analysts.
  • Nov. 14, 2014, 4:28 PM
    • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) increased its GM stake in Q3 by 21% in Q3 to 40M shares. (13F filing)
    • Warren Buffett's conglomerate exited its Deere (NYSE:DE) position; it had a 4M-share stake in the tractor maker at the end of Q2.
    • A 449K-share stake was talen in PBM services giant Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX). Stakes in IBM, Wal-Mart, MasterCard, and Visa were moderately increased.
    • GM +0.7% AH. DE -0.4%.
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 3:53 PM
    • The master of using the tax code to his advantage, The Oracle has done it again with his deal to buy Duracell from Procter & Gamble. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is paying $4.7B for the business, but the currency will be its P&G stock with a cost basis of just $336M.
    • Had Berkshire instead sold the shares, it would have faced a capital gains tax bill  of more than $1B. P&G is also set to get a tax break with the sale because it's retiring stock using property that has appreciated in value.
    • It's the third time this year Warren Buffett has swapped shares for businesses, thus cutting out the IRS.
    • Previously: Berkshire Hathaway lands Duracell brand
  • Nov. 13, 2014, 7:42 AM
    • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) announces it bought the Duracell battery brand from Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG).
    • Duracell Company will be seeded with $1.7B in cash at the closing and P&G will retrieve shares of its stock held by Berkshire as part of the terms of the deal.
    • The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015.
    • Previously: Procter & Gamble to shed Duracell
    • PG +0.4% premarket.
  • Nov. 10, 2014, 7:37 AM
    • "You don't get bargains on things like that," said Warren Buffett five years ago after paying what seemed like a steep price of $26.5B in the BNSF buyout. Five years on, the statement seems like false modestly, as - with the onshore oil boom helping it along - BNSF has sent more than $15B in dividends to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), according to Berkshire''s latest quarterly earnings.
    • Even better, the railroad is on pace to return all of the cash spent by Buffett before year's end. Annual revenue at BNSF has risen 57% and earnings more than doubled to $3.8B since Berkshire's purchase.
    • "He stole it," says Jeff Matthews. "He's got to feel really good that he bought it when he did, because it's a wonderful asset, and it's done nothing but get more valuable in the time that he's owned it."
    • Comps? Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) trades for about 12.6x pretax, pre-interest income. Were BNSF to sell for that kind of multiple today, Buffett's stake would be worth about $66.5B, more than double what he paid.
  • Nov. 7, 2014, 5:27 PM
    • Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A): Q3 operating earnings per Class A share equivalent of $2876.
    • Revenues: $51.19B (+10%).
    • Press release ; 10-K
  • Oct. 20, 2014, 8:29 AM
    • Lower by 0.1% in premarket action is Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) alongside IBM's post-earnings slide. The House of Buffett is IBM's largest shareholder with more than 70M shares as of the latest regulatory filing, and with IBM off more than 8%, or $15 per share, it translates into a loss of more than $1B for Berkshire (market cap $340B).
  • Oct. 13, 2014, 5:07 AM
    • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) intends to license its name to estate agencies in Europe and Asia as part of its strategy to exploit Warren Buffett's widely respected reputation.
    • "Berkshire Hathaway has brand equity around trust, stability and integrity," says consultant Oscar Yuan.
    • Berkshire has this year stamped its name onto the Van Tuyl car dealership chain that it bought this month, as well as onto utility companies and U.S. estate agents in its portfolio.
  • Oct. 10, 2014, 3:18 PM
    • A security breach may have compromised customer payment card information at 395 Dairy Queen locations across the country, says the company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B). It's the dreaded Backoff software, which has been targeting retailers for about a year now.
    • Exposed were names, card numbers, and expiration dates. There's no indication PINs, social security numbers, or email addresses were stolen.
  • Oct. 7, 2014, 3:20 PM
    • “It’s a 30-minute instrument if you’ve been wrong on interest rates and it’s a 30-year instrument if you’ve been right on interest rates," says Warren Buffett, scratching his head over why folks aren't lining up to get mortgages.
    • "It's a good way to short the dollar, short interest rates. It is a no-brainer," he adds, admitting the home construction pickup has been slower than he expected.
    • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), of course, has units doing everything from building and selling houses, to manufacturing carpeting, paint, and bricks, and Buffett continues to expect a pickup in business. “[Slow household formation] doesn’t last long. Hormones kick in and in-laws get tiresome, too.”
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 9:27 AM
    • We actually bought some stocks on the dip yesterday, says Warren Buffett (BRK.A, BRK.B), appearing on CNBC. More from The Oracle ...
    • "I made a mistake on Tesco (OTCPK:TSCDF, OTCPK:TSCDY). That was a huge mistake by me."
    • The new Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) compensation plan makes "great sense." His involvement came only after being asked, and was not adversarial. "I feel as good about my Coke investment as I've ever felt."
    • "It doesn't have anything to do with taxes," says Buffett, of the Burger King/Tim Horton's deal. He notes Tim Horton's earns twice as much money as BK, and the deal has to pass muster with Canadian regulators.
    • Alibaba? "I don't think we've bought an IPO in over 50 years."
    • Asked about today's announced purchase of a major auto dealer, Buffett says it's a play on the strength of the auto sector right now. "I fully expect we'll buy a lot more dealerships over time."
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 8:11 AM
    • Van Tuyl Group is the country's largest privately-owned auto dealership group, and the 5th-ranked overall.
    • After being folded into Berkshire Hathway (BRK.A, BRK.B), the company will be known as Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, and - no surprise - will continue to be led by its existing management team.
    • Buffett: "The Van Tuyl Group fits perfectly into Berkshire Hathaway from both a financial and cultural viewpoint ... [It] enjoys excellent relations with the major auto manufacturers and delivers unusually high volumes at its 78 locations. This is just the beginning for Berkshire Hathaway Automotive."
    • The deal is expected to be closed in Q1. Term were not disclosed.
    • Press release
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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.