March 18, 2018

With $116 billion cash, Buffett says Berkshire needs 'huge acquisitions'

02 March 2018, 03:28 | Kenneth Drake

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Getty Images

"We're looking for something much bigger than that".

Buffett also plugged NFM in the letter noting discount pricing that will be available for shareholders May 1 through May 7 (around the May 5 annual meeting date) and noting, "Last year, the one-week volume for the store was a staggering $44.6 million".

Buffett's other largest positions include a US$20.6bn interest in Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) shares, as well as US$18.4bn invested in The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO).

The rest was a gift from the new US tax code.

The venture is initially being guided by three senior executives from the companies: Berkshire's Todd Combs; Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, a managing director at JPMorgan who previously worked at drugmaker Novartis; and Beth Galetti, a senior vice president for human resources at Amazon.

Buffett, whose Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate owns almost 10 per cent of Wells Fargo, on Monday said "I have confidence in Tim Sloan", the bank's CEO.

I'm sure most readers have heard of Warren Buffett, but in-case you haven't he's one of the world's best investors and also one of the richest people in the world. Of course to let the financial news media tell it, Buffett's high grade bond quote was the most profound thing anyone has ever said about fixed income. And he cautioned that it will be a slow process before showing results. "Nevertheless, I expect considerable confusion among shareholders for whom accounting is a foreign language". "This is not easy".

Buffett also said that the Berkshire Hathaway employees' annual college NCAA tourney pool begins in a couple of weeks. He said the investment was made by one of his deputy stock pickers, and that he didn't know the reasons they made it.

"It is a awful mistake for investors with long-term horizons - among them pension funds, college endowments and savings-minded individuals - to measure "risk" in their portfolio's ratio of bonds to stocks", Mr Buffett warns.

That last requirement proved a barrier to virtually all deals we reviewed in 2017, as prices for decent, but far from spectacular, businesses hit an all-time high.

The Chicago-based food and beverage giant says the 87-year-old billionaire investor will retire from its board when his term ends in April as he moves to cut back on travel.

Beyond larger and fiercer competition from other BKR-like conglomerates, Buffett stressed on the fact that having a large amount of cash available - BKR is now sitting on Dollars 116 billion of cash and bonds - doesn't mean you have to spend it.

Buffett said investors can get clues about what he likes best by looking at Berkshire's portfolio.

"A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire", he wrote, adding that about $29 billion of that $65.3 billion gain came from changes to the tax law.

"We now estimate Berkshire's losses from the three hurricanes to be $3 billion (or about $2 billion after tax)".

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