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Berkshire Hathaway inc. (BRK.B)

  • Tue, Jan. 27, 11:02 AM
    • Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A, BRK.B) NetJets won't have to pay the IRS more than $366M in taxes and penalties after a jude rules the tax agency must follow guidance it gave the company's predecessor in 1992.
    • It's a mixed verdict for NetJets though, as the judge also rules the company is not entitled to a refund of more than $220M paid by three of its business units.
  • Wed, Jan. 14, 4:11 PM
    • Leucadia (NYSE:LUK) COO Justin Wheeler has been acting CEO of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage - a JV between LUK and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) - since April. Now permanent CEO, he will be stepping down from the COO spot at Leucadia.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 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, 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. 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. 6, 2014, 5:35 PM
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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.