April 30, 2011 |
The annual stockholder meeting of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has long been more a party than a business event. Disciples of the investment guru snap photos with their hero, eat rib eye at his favorite steakhouse and queue up to buy baubles at a jewelry store owned by the giant holding company. As many as 40,000 delight in a long weekend of wholesome fun that Buffett has dubbed the Woodstock of Capitalism. And in an era in which bad business behavior is prominent in the public psyche, many Buffett admirers attend simply for life lessons from an octogenarian revered as much for his homespun values and ethical moorings as his financial wisdom.
April 27, 2011 |
A former Berkshire Hathaway Inc. executive once considered a likely successor to Warren Buffett intentionally misled the investing guru about the stock he owned in a business that Berkshire later agreed to acquire, the company said. A report by the audit committee of Berkshire's board faults David Sokol for giving "misleadingly incomplete disclosures" about the timing and magnitude of his purchases of shares of Lubrizol Corp., which Berkshire agreed early this year to buy in a $9-billion deal.
April 19, 2011
Goldman Sachs took a hit to its first quarter earnings after paying dividends to billionaire investor Warren Buffett's company, which invested $5 billion in the bank at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. The investment bank's first-quarter income fell 72 percent to $908 million after it paid $1.64 billion in dividends to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said its revenue fell 7 percent to $11.9 billion on weakness in some of its core businesses including stock and bond trading and advising clients.
March 28, 2011 |
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took nearly $1 billion in write-downs on three stocks last quarter under pressure from U.S. regulators who disagreed with the company's accounting for losses in those shares, according to a series of letters. The write-downs are the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Berkshire, which maintains that the companies are strong and that their shares will rebound over time, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has consistently taken a view that the losses are not temporary and should be recorded.
March 19, 2011 |
Much to Warren Buffett's chagrin, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is about to give his money back. The famed Oracle of Omaha invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs at the height of the financial crisis in late 2008. It was a high-profile imprimatur done to buck up confidence in the world's financial system ? not to mention, make a buck for Buffett's investors at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The investment succeeded on both counts but was costly for Goldman Sachs. The preferred shares paid a juicy 10% dividend.
March 14, 2011 |
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has announced that it will buy specialty-chemicals maker Lubrizol Corp. in a deal valued at almost $10 billion as Chairman Warren Buffett puts a big chunk of his cash pile to work. The Omaha company agreed to acquire Lubrizol for $135 a share in an all-cash deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies. The deal was announced Monday. The deal is valued at about $9.7 billion, including around $700 million in net debt. That makes it Buffett's second-biggest acquisition in the last decade, after his 2010 purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
March 7, 2011 |
Warren Buffett said shareholders of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. may have their financial interests harmed by the company's planned stock-and-cash deal to take a 100% stake in Pasadena-based Wesco Financial Corp. Using Berkshire stock would dilute investors' holdings in exchange for more ownership in a firm that may have less growth potential, Buffett told Wesco Director Carolyn Carlburg in a Jan. 21 letter published Monday in a Berkshire regulatory filing. Berkshire, the top investor in Kraft Foods Inc., last year opposed the food maker's plan to issue shares for an acquisition, saying the stock was "very expensive currency.
August 26, 2010 |
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced plans to buy the 19.9% it does not own of Wesco Financial Corp., a company run by Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, in a transaction valued at about $514 million. Wesco shares closed 11.8% higher, rising $38.25 to $363, after Berkshire revealed the proposal in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday. Based in Pasadena, Wesco has three main businesses: insurance, through its Wesco-Financial Insurance Co. and Kansas Bankers Surety Co. units; furniture rental, through its Cort Business Services Corp unit; and steel, through its Precision Steel Warehouse Inc. unit.
January 19, 2010
A unit of billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquired a block of the U.S. life reinsurance business of Swiss Reinsurance Co. for nearly $1.3 billion, freeing up the Zurich, Switzerland, company's capital for more profitable investments. The deal with Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Inc., announced Monday, was retroactive to Oct. 1. It will release 300 million Swiss francs (about $292 million) in capital reserves for Swiss Reinsurance. Under terms of the deal, called a retrocession, Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway will be able to pocket premiums but also will be on the line for as much as $1.5 billion in potential losses.