> Warren Buffett Blog: 2019

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Warren Buffett is bearish on the newspaper business model.

Buffett on Newspaper business (aside from the few big name publishers)

“They’re going to disappear. The things that are essentially news is what you don't know that you want to know. You know what happened in national sports the moment it happened, and you can go watch a video of it and so on. You can go to ESPN and see what's going on. You know what's happening in politics. You know what's happening in the stock market.”

“Ads are news to people”
“It was ‘survival of the fattest. Whichever paper was the fattest won, because it had the most ads in it. And ads are news to people.”

“They want to know what supermarket's having the bargain on Coke or Pepsi this weekend and so on. I mean, it upsets the people in the newsroom to talk that way, but the ads were the most important editorial content from the standpoint of the reader."

“If you were looking for a job, you had one place to basically look, and that was the classified section. If you were looking for an apartment to rent, those pages were just dozens and dozens of pages. That's disappeared.”

“The world was changed hugely, and it did it gradually. It went from monopoly to franchise to competitive to ... toast.”

Monday, March 25, 2019

Berkshire is rewarding Greg Abel and Ajit Jain

Mr Abel, 56, and Mr Jain, 67, who became vice-chairmen in January last year, both received US$16 million in salary plus US$2 million in bonus, showed a US SEC filing. Mr Buffett's total compensation last year was US$388,968. But his 16.5 per cent ownership stake in the company forms the bulk of his net worth, which is estimated at US$84.4 billion.

The payouts show Mr Buffett's willingness to pay Berkshire's younger leaders in a manner similar to that at other publicly traded companies.

Mr Abel oversees Berkshire's non-insurance operations such as the BNSF Railway, aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts, retail businesses such as Fruit of the Loom and Brooks running shoes, and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, where he remains executive chairman and owns 1 per cent of the voting stock.

Mr Jain, meanwhile, has long been Berkshire's top insurance executive, and oversees its businesses in that sector, including auto insurer Geico and reinsurer General Reinsurance.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Berkshire buys Red Hat stock

Berkshire has revealed it has bought 4.2 million shares of Red Hat.

IBM is in the process of buying Red Hat in a $34 billion deal that translates to roughly $190 per Red Hat share.

Despite the deal announced at the end of October 2018, Red Hat shares traded in the $170s in November and December 2018.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Berkshire sells some shares in United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Wells Fargo and Charter Communications.

Warren Buffett's firm dumped more than 15 million shares of Wells Fargo and more than 4 million shares (15% of his stake) of United Airlines (UAL). It also reduced his stake by selling 1.2 million shares in Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Charter Communications (CHTR).

Berkshire's American Air and Delta Air positions were unchanged in Q4 2018, at 43.7 million shares and 65.5 million shares, respectively.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Berkshire re-enters Suncor Energy position

Berkshire Hathaway has now taken a fresh stake in Suncor Energy Inc for the second time in about six years, sending the U.S.-listed shares of the energy.

Suncor is Canada's biggest oil and gas company. The investment into Suncor comes at a time when global investors have been pulling away from Canada because of its carbon-intensive oil sands and struggle to approve pipelines.

Berkshire said in its recent regulatory filing that it has a stake of 10.8 million shares in the company.

The new position comes more than two years after Berkshire sold its stake in Suncor. Berkshire took a position in Suncor in 2013 and exited its stake in 2016.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Warren Buffett buys more shares in GM, JPMorgan, US Bank and Bank of New York Mellon

Buffett’s company increased its stake in General Motors by more than 20 million shares to 93.2 million shares.

Berkshire also increased its investments in financial companies JP Morgan Chase (additional 14.5 million shares), Bank of America(additional 19.8 million shares), and US Bancorp.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Warren Buffett dumps Oracle shares

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has sold its entire $2 billion stake in Oracle after holding the investment for just one quarter. A recent regulatory filing by Berkshire Hathaway revealed that it sold over 41 million shares in the software company in late 2018. The stake was worth over $2 billion when first disclosed in November 2018.

It's not clear whether the Oracle investment was made by Buffett or his portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. Berkshire Hathaway typically holds its investments over much longer periods of time.

The Oracle investment was notable because Buffett had historically tended to be cautious about investing in technology stocks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What Warren Buffett thinks of Diversifying an investment portfolio

"Diversification is a protection against ignorance. But there is nothing wrong with diversification........."

Monday, January 28, 2019

Buffett gives away $13.5 million worth of Berkshire stock to charities

Investor Warren Buffett has given away Berkshire Hathaway stock worth $13.5 million to five different charities since summer of 2018. The gifts of Berkshire stock were disclosed in documents filed with the SEC. These relatively smaller gifts are part of Buffett's overall plan to give away his total fortune over time.

Buffett plans to eventually give most of his Berkshire stock to five foundations, with the biggest share going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Monday, January 7, 2019

More insurance products to be offered from Dubai

An insurance unit of billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway may offer more products to its clients from its office in Dubai as its remains bullish on the prospects of economic growth in regions from Middle East and North Africa to India, Turkey and CIS, a company official said.

The Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, based in the Dubai International Financial Centre, offers specialty and commercial insurance and reinsurance products with a focus on construction, energy, property, marine, casualty and executive and professional segments.

“We are already reviewing additional products. We might also offer group personal accident,” said Alessandro Cerase, senior executive officer for BHSI Middle East.

“Right now we are not considering entering the retail business but that does not mean we will not review our position if regulations change over the years. We might decide to expand in the local environment.”

The UAE's insurance market is growing, although over 60 insurers compete in a country with a population of some 9 million.

BHSI is part of Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity group of insurance companies. BHSI was launched in 2013, when Mr Buffett announced the move into commercial insurance. The business was launched in the US with a mandate to build a global primary, property, casualty and specialty insurance portfolio. Today, BHSI has approximately 1,000-strong team in 30 offices across 14 countries.