Mon, Jan. 5, 10:50 AM
- "The market's realizing that it's more than just a stock portfolio," says fund manager and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) owner David Rolfe.
- It wasn't long ago that buying Berkshire was seen as a way to be part of The Oracle's stock-picking prowess, but now it's more about the company's acquisitions and the performance of its operating units.
- Most of Berkshire's stocks reside in its insurance units and income from those investments accounted for just a sixth of a total of $15.7B in profit in the first nine months of 2014 vs. more than 80% 15 years prior - making sour stock picks like Tesco and IBM of little import.
- Berkshire more than doubled the S&P 500's 11% gain in 2014.
Dec. 31, 2014, 8:43 AM
- Among the more interesting is the idea of North Korea hackers attacking the infrastructure of the NYSE and Nasdaq, precipitating a gigantic one-hour drop in stocks.
- Others include: 1) Significantly higher Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) estimates, making it the first $1T market cap company, the best-performing large-cap in 2015, and a "must own." 2) Falling home prices in H2, making shorts of homebuilders (ITB, XHB) a good play 3) Bank stocks (NYSEARCA:XLF) have a hard time of it 4) Calling Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) his new Netflix, Carl Icahn amasses a sizable position, forcing a bidding war for the company between Google and Facebook 5) Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) becomes more shareholder friendly, cutting spending and launching a buyback program 6) Activists take aim at Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), forcing John Chambers out 7) Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) makes its largest-ever acquisition, and its not in consumer goods, but instead in energy, retail, or construction/equipment.
- The full piece is here.
Dec. 30, 2014, 8:37 AM
- China will extend subsidies on electric vehicles of up to 55K yuan ($8.8K) per vehicle until at least 2020, according to new draft rules published by the government.
- The development is the latest indication that Beijing plans to back the EV industry in the region as part of a broadened pollution-control initiative.
- Related news: Shenzhen (population ~10M) caps new car sales.
- Stocks of interest: TSLA, OTCPK:BAMXY, KNDI, TM, and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) via BYD Group.
Dec. 18, 2014, 10:45 AM
- The electric car maker backed by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) began tumbling in Hong Kong at about 2 PM local time, and were lower by as much as 47% within an hour before closing down by 29%.
- Board secretary John Li dismissed various rumors on a conference call, including one that Chairman Wang Chuanfu had been arrested in London. He also said the company has no indication The Oracle has reduced his stake.
Dec. 15, 2014, 11:35 AM
- While publicly traded stocks at 35% remain the most popular investment, that's down from 43% one year ago and 49% in 2012. ETFs at 25% are up from 21% one year ago.
- The most popular equity sectors are financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) at 27%, followed by Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY), and Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE), both at 16%.
- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) again hold the two top spots for individual picks, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY), the Health Care SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLV), and the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:EEM) rounding out the top five.
- Source: Tiger 21 Member Favorites Survey
Dec. 12, 2014, 6:29 PM
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, [[BRK.b]]) is acquiring Charter Brokerage, a provider of logistics services to the petroleum and chemical industries, from P-E firm Arsenal Capital.
- On its site, Charter calls itself "the premier drawback services company in the U.S.," and claims to "recover more duties, taxes and fees for our clients than any other firm."
- Berkshire is 11 days removed from announcing it's buying Weatherford's engineered chemistry and drilling fluids business for $825M.
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
BRK.A vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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