Warren buffett delivers strong figures

Warren buffett delivers strong figures

Star investor warren buffett presented glittering figures at the shareholder meeting of his investment company berkshire hathaway.

First-quarter operating profit rose five percent year over year to $5.6 billion (5.0 billion euros), the company announced saturday. At the annual general meeting in omaha in the u.S. State of nebraska, the crowds were as heavy as every year – tens of thousands of supporters attended. 88-year-old buffett and his 95-year-old vice chairman charlie munger took around six hours to answer your questions.

Berkshire hathaway’s net income was as much as $21.7 billion in the quarter just ended. Buffett herself, however, advises against paying much attention to it. Since the introduction of a new accounting method, which requires the fair value of unrealized investment gains to be reported on an ongoing basis, earnings have fluctuated wildly and been heavily distorted. In the prior-year period, for example, there was a loss of 1.1 billion dollars. In the previous quarter, the loss amounted to an enormous 25 billion dollars.

At the shareholders’ meeting, which visitors refer to as the "woodstock of capitalism," the focus is more on the cult surrounding borsen guru buffett than on the figures. Every year, numerous shareholders make the pilgrimage to his hometown of omaha, where companies from buffett’s conglomerate contribute to the hullabaloo with booths and fan merchandise. Berkshire hathaway owns around 90 companies, plus various share packages. Most recently, buffett’s company bought into amazon.

As usual, buffett and his deputy munger took plenty of time to address their shareholders’ concerns in a detailed Q&A session. A topic that is particularly on their minds in view of the advanced age of berkshire’s ceos: who will succeed buffett one day?? The investment legend known as "the oracle of omaha" because of her penchant for lucrative investments remained silent on the subject. However, the company had already paved the way some time ago with the appointment of managers greg abel and ajit jain to the board of directors.

Buffett not only takes good care of his investors at the annual general meeting, he also spoiled them in the first quarter by buying back shares worth 1.7 billion dollars to boost the share price. Actually, buffett prefers to put all of berkshire hathaway’s excess cash into corporate acquisitions. At the end of the quarter, he was sitting on cash and cash equivalents of a good 114 billion dollars. Many shareholders are eagerly awaiting a rough deal, but buffett is currently unable to find any attractive companies that meet his price expectations.

Most recently, berkshire hathaway announced that it would contribute ten billion dollars to the financing of a possible takeover of the US oil company anadarko petroleum by its rival occidental. The quarterly report of buffett’s investment company, however, still contains a big question mark: the results of the ailing US food giant kraft heinz are not yet available. Berkshire hathaway holds about 27 percent in the company that weighed heavily on its balance sheet in the previous quarter.

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