> Warren Buffett Blog: August 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Berkshire increasing Cash Positions compared to most individual investors

Individual investors have been cutting back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway.

Who do you think has got it right?

Cash at Berkshire Hathaway stood at just over US$55 billion as of June 30, 2014 an all-time high and two-and-a-half times the level he has said in the past he likes to keep on tap to meet extraordinary claims at his insurance businesses. That’s also up more than 50 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Buffett’s green pile is in sharp contrast to individual American investors, who have cut cash in portfolios to 15.8 per cent, a 14-year low, according to the July asset allocation survey from the American Association of Individual Investors.

via http://www.thenational.ae/business/markets/warren-buffetts-55bn-cash-hoard-bucks-trend

Monday, August 25, 2014

China car maker BYD backed by Warren Buffett shares drop

Chinese car maker BYD Co Ltd , backed by Warren Buffett, saw its shares drop as much as 9 percent in Hong Kong before bouncing back after the company posted worse-than-expected first-half results and warned profit may fall by as much as a fifth in the first nine months of the year.

BYD said that its net profit during the first six months fell 15.5 percent to 360.7 million yuan ($59 million) from 426.9 million yuan a year earlier, dragged down by a 27 percent slump in vehicle sales volume.

The car maker currently has around a 37 percent share of China's new energy vehicle market, and said it expects to further strengthen its position in the second half of the year with new models and expanded production capacity. 

BYD and other Chinese carmakers such as Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd and Chery Automobile Co Ltd are losing market share to foreign rivals Volkswagen AG , General Motors Co and Ford Motor Corp as competition grows in the lower-end of China's auto market.

One bright spot in BYD's first-half results was the explosive growth in its business selling vehicles powered by new forms of new energy, principally electric cars. That division saw revenue surge more than 10-fold to 2.7 billion yuan on the back of government incentive policies.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Berkshire buys Charter Communication stake and Verisign, USG, IBM

Warren Buffett's company has revealed a new stake in Charter Communications and made several other tweaks to its $108 billion U.S. stock portfolio.

Berkshire said it owned 2.3 million shares of cable television provider Charter at the end of June.

Berkshire also bought more shares ofVerisign, USG and IBM during the second quarter.

It reduced its stakes in DirecTV, Liberty Media and National Oilwell Varco. It also eliminated an investment in Starz.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Buffett buys Verizon, reduces stake in GM

Warren Buffett bought 11 million shares of Verizon in the first quarter of 2014. The stock rose and he added more, almost 4 million more, in Q2. 

Verizon may be in for a growth spurt, but it seems more likely that Buffett is simply putting his money where he usually does: in a company with a dominant position in its sector, positioned for growth over the long haul.

General Motors and Cadillac

And he’s got a lot more money to put into Verizon, too. Because though Warren Buffett is very happy with his new Cadillac, he has sold off 10 million shares of GM in 2014, and reduced his GM holdings by 25%.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Warren Buffett on Short Term market forecasters

We've long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune tellers look good. 

Even now, Charlie and I continue to believe that short-term market forecasts are poison and should be kept locked up in a safe place, away from children and also from grown-ups who behave in the market like children.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Berkshire Shares top $200,000

Shares of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway topped the $200,000 level for the first time ever in today’s trading session.

Berkshire’s class-A shares were up $1,535, or 0.7%, to $200,885 today - Thursday August 14, 2014.

Buffett has been giving away big parts of his Berkshire stock to charity over the past 8 years, but he still owned 321,000 Class A shares as of mid-July. That stock is now worth $64.2 billion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How Warren Buffett learnt to invest with patience

Warren Buffet’s father was a stockbroker and as a child, Warren Buffet would visit and get the stock prices.  He then at age of 11 bought three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share.  

The stock, however, quickly dropped to $27.

Buffett held on until they climbed back up to $40. Then he sold them at a small profit. He later regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share, and still cites this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BNSF was Berkshire's largest purchase ever

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is owner of the biggest player in hauling Bakken oil by rail: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). And within Berkshire Hathaway's impressive portfolio — BNSF was the "largest purchase in Berkshire's history." Last year, BNSF had revenues totaling more than $22 billion.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Berkshire Q2 profit soars 41% in 2014

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc said second-quarter profit soared 41 percent to a record high, reflecting substantial investment gains and improved results in manufacturing, service and retail businesses.

Berkshire owns more than 80 businesses in sectors including insurance, railroads, energy, chemicals, food and clothing. Berkshire's diversification helped in the quarter. While profit fell 8 percent in insurance, the company's best known business sector, earnings from other businesses grew 20 percent.

Berkshire's cash stake surged to $55.46 billion from $48.95 billion at the end of March.