Buffett says health partnership will likely have CEO in 'couple months'

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Why Buffett is not afraid of the stock market: The Berkshire Hathaway CEO is one of the most ardent bulls when it comes to the US stock market and the economy at large. But with the latest stake purchase, it has grown to a massive 240.3 million shares worth $42.5 billion.

That's why his company is looking to "find big things to do" in big and growing economies that hold potential, such as China, Buffett said.

Buffett, 87, and his longtime partner and fellow billionaire Charlie Munger, 94, are leading Berkshire's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, where they are fielding five hours of questions from shareholders, journalists and analysts. "If you look at Apple, I think it earns nearly twice as much as the second most profitable company in the United States", he told CNBC. His Apple investment has performed better, but Mr Buffett has also said he missed out on investing in Google and Amazon.com Inc.

During the traditional Q&A session at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, a shareholder challenged Buffett on his refusal to pressure Berkshire subsidiaries to divest from gun-related businesses.

Asked about is he semi-retired, considering he recently promoted Ajit Jain and Greg Abel to manage Berkshire's operating businesses, Buffett said he has been semi-retired for decades.

Morgan Stanley analyst Kai Pan wonders why once tech-stock-shy Buffett thinks the investment in Apple will turn out better than his admitted mistake buying IBM. "There's two kinds of items that people buy and think they're investing", he says.

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However, there may also be another reason for the investment: Berkshire's cash position.

Berkshire Hathaway owns 10 percent of Wells Fargo's stock, and Buffett reiterated his support for the bank Saturday despite its recent scandals.

Berkshire Hathaway logged a loss for the first quarter of the year, hit by what Chairman and Chief Executive Warren Buffett already had flagged would be the weight of new accounting rules.

Apple's shares now only need to rise by around another $14 apiece, or roughly seven per cent, to give the business a market valuation of $1 trillion.

But that doesn't mean there aren't major questions that loom over the meeting for Buffett and Berkshire, which owns scores of businesses ranging from battery-maker Duracell to ice cream retailer Dairy Queen to auto insurer Geico.

The accounting change required Berkshire to report unrealized losses in its equity portfolio, which totalled $170.5 billion at year end, regardless of whether it planned to sell those stocks. The shares closed up 3.9% at $183.83 on Friday.