Warren Buffett compares CEOs to oversexed teens

Chelsea West
February 25, 2018

Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett said he expects the company's insurers will have to pay about $3 billion in claims related to the hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico last fall.

Buffett's letter, which a year ago clocked in at 28 pages as opposed to modern-day tweets that now max out at 280 characters, is substantive and insightful, but written in his folksy, easy-to-understand style.

Berkshire Hathaway's fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled as it received a $29 billion boost from the new tax law that easily offset any weakness in the company's businesses.

Warren Buffett is retiring from the board of directors of Kraft Heinz, a subsidiary of his company Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire Hathaway, the business headed up by legendary investor Warren Buffett, today reported a record annual profit after Donald Trump's tax changes boosted its earnings by more than $29bn (£21bn).

In his annual letter to shareholders, the billionaire investor wrote: "Berkshire's gain in net worth during 2017 was $65.3bn".

Warren Buffett got right to the point Saturday in his folksy and blunt annual letter to investors.

Buffett himself earlier this year expressed some reservation about the tax-code rewrite cobbled together by federal lawmakers.

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It has been more than two years since Berkshire made a major purchase, the $32.1 billion takeover of aircraft parts maker Precision Castparts Corp. That kept Berkshire from making the kinds of big deals Buffett prefers.

"Price seemed nearly irrelevant to an army of optimistic purchasers", Buffett said.

Price proved to be the barrier to a new, big-time acquisition in 2017, Buffett said. Van Damme is also board member of Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Restaurant Brands International. That compares with $548 million gain the previous year.

Operating profit fell 18 per cent to $14.5bn due to a $2.2bn loss from the group's insurance underwriting unit as a string of natural disasters hit the US.

Turning to investments, Berkshire's Apple holding was up to $28.2B at year-end, second only to Wells Fargo at $29.3B.

Last year, however, was another good one for Berkshire stockholders, as the company's "A" shares rose almost 22%, vs. a gain of 19.4% for the S&P 500, a broad stock market index.

Berkshire also owns clothing, furniture and jewelry firms.

Buffett says using borrowed cash to buy stocks, or "buying on margin", is a no-no for individual investors.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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