Warren Buffett's 3 Favorite Books: A guide to The Intelligent Investor, Security Analysis, and The Wealth of Nations



Latest Buffett Headlines

Loading...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

FORBES: Inside the $126 Billion Forbes Cover




What does $126 billion look like? With the picture above, probably the wealthiest portrait ever taken, you now know.

This photograph, which graces the cover of the 30th anniversary issue of the Forbes 400,  crowned an incredible event. On June 26, 2012, 161 billionaires and near-billionaires came together in New York at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, a chance for the most successful people on the planet to use their resources and the mind-set that built that success to try to solve the world’s most intractable problems.

Near the end of the day, we took a dozen of the greatest living philanthropists in the world, put them in one room, and took an unprecedented photograph. There was no digital wizardry, or Photoshop sleight of hand — as the accompanying video underscores, they were all in one place at one time, and even the most jaded among them couldn’t help but look around the Trustees Room at the New York Public Library and go, “wow.”
The whole shoot took just 15 minutes, though our photo crew, notably photographer Michael Prince, had been prepping for weeks, testing cameras, the room, the lights. The cover was shot dozens of times in advance using stand-ins to ensure perfect lighting and focus when the actual subjects arrived.

When they did, it was magic. Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, Pete Peterson, Leon Black, Jon Bon Jovi, Marc Benioff, David Rubenstein, Steve Case, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen and Marc Andreessen, $126 billion of personal net worth, incredible business achievement — and a desire to change the world on a massive scale. It was a moment of business and philanthropic history — and a photo for the ages.


Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Read the full transcript of the March 2 Squawk Box Interview with Warren Buffett
Download the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report
Download the 1977 - 2010 Warren Buffett Letter's to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett @ Amazon


The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours



FORBES: Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Net Worth
$44 B As of March 2012
At a Glance
  • Age: 82
  • Source of Wealth: Berkshire Hathaway, Self-made
  • Residence: Omaha, NE
  • Country of Citizenship: United States
  • Education: Master of Science, Columbia University; Bachelor of Arts / Science, University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Marital Status: Widowed, Remarried
  • Children: 3
Profile
Who will replace the Oracle of Omaha at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway? Warren Buffett announced in February he'd finally made the decision, but he wouldn't give a name. In December, he chose his farmer son, Howard, as the future non-executive chairman and "guardian of the firm's values." New Senate legislation requiring the rich to pay at least a 30% tax rate has been dubbed the "Buffett Rule" in homage to the billionaire's frequent public statements that the wealthiest should pay more than the average Joe. His net worth is down $6 billion year on year because of a 7% slump in Berkshire's stock. In his latest annual letter he confessed to some mistakes, including being "dead wrong" about a housing comeback. The son of Nebraska stockbroker met value investor Benjamin Graham while studying economics at Columbia. Buffett took over textile firm Berkshire Hathaway in 1965.


Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Read the full transcript of the March 2 Squawk Box Interview with Warren Buffett
Download the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report
Download the 1977 - 2010 Warren Buffett Letter's to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett @ Amazon


The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours



FORBES: Warren Buffett Does Not Live On Value Alone

John Reese, Contributor

with Warren Buffett
with Warren Buffett (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years now, Warren Buffett‘s name has been nearly synonymous with the term “value investing.” A disciple of Benjamin Graham–the man known as the “Father of Value Investing”–Buffett has become the world’s most well-known investor thanks to his ability to ascertain the value of various securities and then buy them for less, a concept at the core of value investing. “Price,” he has said, “is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

But to label Buffett a “value investor” is probably an oversimplification. In reality, his strategy involves several different factors. In fact, in a recent paper, three members of AQR Capital Management found that value is not what has driven Buffett’s success over the past few decades. “The standard academic factors that capture the market, size, value and momentum premia cannot explain Buffett’s performance so it has to date been a mystery,” write Andrea Frazzini, David Kabiller, and Lasse H. Pedersen.

But in their study, they say, they “find that the secret to Buffett’s success is his preference for cheap, safe, high-quality stocks combined with his consistent use of leverage to magnify returns while surviving the inevitable large absolute and relative drawdowns this entails.”

They estimate that Buffett applies about 1.6-to-1 leverage, financed in part by the Berkshire’s insurance float. They also find that Berkshire Hathaway‘s public holdings over the 1980-2011 period averaged a beta of 0.77, meaning that they tended to be a good deal less volatile than the broader market.

After studying Buffett for more than a decade, I wasn’t too surprised that high-quality, safer picks are responsible for his success. My Buffett-inspired Guru Strategy, which is based on the approach Buffett used to build his empire, puts just as much (if not more) emphasis on quality than it does on value metrics, and quality stocks tend to be less volatile.

The strategy looks for companies that have increased earnings per share in all or almost all years of the past decade; have enough annual earnings that they could, if need be, pay off all their debt within five years; and which have averaged returns on equity of at least 15% over the past 10 years–all signs of very high-quality businesses.

Whatever you want to call it–value investing, high-quality investing, low-beta investing high-quality-low-beta value investing–Buffett’s impeccable track record shows that his approach is well worth following.
Here’s a look at a handful of stocks that my Buffett-inspired strategy thinks are worth considering for your portfolio.




FactSet Research Systems (FDS): Connecticut-based FactSet provides global financial and economic data and analytical applications to a variety of customers in the financial world. The $4.6-billion-market-cap company has increased EPS in each year of the past decade, has no long-term debt, and has averaged a 26.5% return on equity over the past 10 years. The company’s shares trade at a 3.8% earnings yield, which, while not cheap, is still higher than the long-term Treasury yield, which pleases my Buffett-based model.

The Coca-Cola Company (KO): The Atlanta-based beverage giant ($172 billion market cap) is a longtime holding of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and also gets good scores from my Buffett model. A few reasons: Coca-Cola has upped EPS in all but two years of the past decade; it has enough annual earnings ($8.7 billion) that it could, if need be, pay off all its debt ($16.4 billion) in less than two years; and it has averaged a 30.0% return on equity over the past decade.

The stock also has a very low beta of just 0.52 over the past five years (betas cited here are from Zacks Investment Research). Its 5% earnings yield isn’t a bargain-basement price, but it’s a much higher yield than long-term Treasury bonds offer, and my Buffett model thinks it’s a good price for such a high-quality firm.
Special Offer: Invest like Buffett, Lynch and Graham. Validea Hot List specializes in legendary investor strategies. Its model portfolio has returned 166% since 2003 versus 46% for the S&P over the same period. Click here to learn from all-time great investors in Validea Hot List.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW): Robinson ($9.2 billion market cap) is a worldwide third-party logistics and freight company, meaning that it doesn’t own the transportation equipment it uses. It instead works with close to 50,000 transportation companies around the globe to provide truck, rail, air, and ocean freight services.
Varian Medical Systems (VAR): Palo Alto, Calif.-based Varian ($6.8 billion market cap) makes technologies that treat cancer and other conditions using radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. It also makes X-Ray imaging tools used for a variety of fields, including medical and scientific arenas, cargo screening, and industrial inspections.

Varian has upped EPS in each year of the past decade, has just $6 million in debt vs. $411 million in annual earnings, and has averaged a 26.6% return on equity over the past 10 years, so it has the quality my Buffett model looks for. It also has a decent 5.9% earnings yield, and has a Buffett-like 0.87 beta.

Ross Stores (ROST): This California-based clothing apparel and home goods retailer, which operates under the Ross Dress for Less and dd’s DISCOUNTS names, is the nation’s second-largest off-price retailer. The $15-billion-market-cap firm has upped EPS in all but one year of the past decade, has nearly five times as much annual earnings as long-term debt, and has averaged a return on equity of more than 30% over the past ten years, all of which earn it high marks from my Buffett-based model.

Like Coke and Robinson, its valuation isn’t spectacular–its shares trade at a 4.8% earnings yield–but it’s still far above the long-term Treasury yield and offers excellent quality. The stock also has a beta below 0.7.

I’m long CHRW and ROST.

 Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Read the full transcript of the March 2 Squawk Box Interview with Warren Buffett
Download the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report
Download the 1977 - 2010 Warren Buffett Letter's to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett @ Amazon



The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders 2011

Here is a belated link to the 2011 shareholders meeting- otherwise the letter that comes out 25 February.

Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Read the full transcript of the March 2 Squawk Box Interview with Warren Buffett
Download the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report
Download the 1977 - 2010 Warren Buffett Letter's to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett @ Amazon


The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours



WRA: Most Expensive Lunch: Warren Buffett charity lunch sets world record

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Most Expensive Lunch: Warren Buffett charity lunch sets world record (VIDEO)
 
Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Most Expensive Lunch: Warren Buffett charity lunch sets world record (VIDEO)

 

OMAHA, Neb., USA -- The annual auction for a private lunch with investor Warren Buffett (chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.) was sold for $3.5 million at a charity auction to help the homeless in San Francisco
- setting the new world record for the Most Expensive Lunch Date Sold at Auction, according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.

 Photo: The cost to dine with investor Warren Buffett has apparently spiked in value, with one deep-pocketed bidder forking over nearly $3.5 million during a charity auction. The auction benefits the Glide Foundation, which helps the homeless in San Francisco. Buffett has raised more than $11.5 million for the group in 13 past auctions. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP (enlarge photo)

  The auction benefits the Glide Foundation, which helps the homeless in San Francisco. Buffett has raised more than $11.5 million for the group in 13 past auctions.

  The event provides a significant portion of Glide's roughly $17 million annual budget that pays for social services to the poor and homeless.

  The Guinness world record for the Most expensive lunch date sold at auction was set by a Hong Kong based investor who paid US$2.1 million (?1.3 million) on 28 June 2008 for a lunch date with Warren Buffett, the world's richest man. Zhao Danyang (Hong Kong) enjoyed a meal for himself and seven friends accopmanied by Mr. Buffett at Smith & Wollensky's steakhouse in New York.

  Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the most expensive white wine, set by a single bottle of Chateau d'Yquem (1811), which was sold for £75,000 ($117,000) by The Antique Wine Company, London, UK.

  The Glide auction's winners traditionally dine with Buffett at New York's Smith and Wollensky steak house. The restaurant donates at least $10,000 to Glide each year to host the auction lunch.

  "We just had a most amazing, shocking experience occur in our great city," Glide's founder, the Rev. Cecil Williams, said in a statement. "We are shouting, dancing, rejoicing and celebrating."

  Buffett became one of the world's richest men while building Berkshire Hathaway into a conglomerate. But he says most of the questions he gets at the lunches aren't about investing.

  Buffett has supported the San Francisco organization ever since his late first wife, Susan, introduced him to Williams.

  Buffett says Williams is a key reason why Glide has been able to help so many people after the world had given up on them. "He's changed thousands of lives that would not have been changed otherwise," Buffett said before the bidding closed.

  The previous four winning bids have all exceeded $2 million with records set every year. Last year's winner, hedge fund manager Ted Weschler, paid $2,626,411.

  Past winners of the auction have said they believe the time with Buffett was well worth the price they paid in the auction.

  The lunches often continue for several hours as Buffett answers their questions. Buffett says many of the questions he gets at the lunches are about nonbusiness subjects such as family and philanthropy.

  Buffett has slowly given away his fortune since 2006, and he plans to eventually divide most of his shares of Berkshire stock between five charitable foundations. The largest chunk will go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  Buffett and Gates have also been encouraging other wealthy people to give away at least half of their fortunes. Nearly 80 of the nation's wealthiest families have signed the pledge.



 Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours


FORBES: The Mystery of the Wealthiest Magazine Cover Ever

Randall Lane, Forbes Staff
 
Tomorrow morning, Forbes will unveil likely the wealthiest portrait ever taken – a $126 billion cover photograph, encompassing 12 of the greatest philanthropists in the world. The image, taken at this summer’s Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, graces the front of the 30th Anniversary issue of the Forbes 400.

Don’t feel like waiting until tomorrow to discover who made the cut? Here are some hints:

Person #1 has served over 10,000 meals for his latest project, Soul Kitchen, since its debut a year ago

Person #2 pledges to donate 99% of his net worth to charity.

Person #3 said, “In terms of giving where you really want to make a sustainable change, that has to be thoughtful and strategic.”

Person #4 helped eradicate polio from India, and has now turned his attention toward access to contraceptives and better toilets.

Person #5 has contributed $560 million to a planned $4.3 billion effort led by the British government and officials from African nations to fight high rates of unplanned pregnancy.

Person #6 said, “Do something you’re passionate about, because it’s not just the financial capital you put into these projects, it’s the human capital – the excitement, the energy – that multiplies the effectiveness of what you’re doing.

Person #7 donated $48 million toward a new visual arts center at Dartmouth College.

Person #8 has pledged $100 million towards a children’s hospital.

Person # 9 donated $7.5 million to repair cracks in the Washington Monument

Person #10 has a foundation that uses the Internet to make philanthropy more efficient.

Person #11 authored a book on giving and teaches philanthropy classes at Stanford.

Person #12, rather than waiting to give, pledges to give away more than half of his earnings to philanthropic causes as his firms earn it.

I’ll give the back story behind this historic photo tomorrow. But if anyone can nail all 12 in the comments below, we’ll give a Twitter shout-out to our 1-million plus followers.

 Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Read the full transcript of the March 2 Squawk Box Interview with Warren Buffett
Download the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report
Download the 1977 - 2010 Warren Buffett Letter's to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett @ Amazon



The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours


HARTFORD BUSINESS: Buffett's firm moving some E. Granby staff to Hartford

September 17, 2012

One of billionaire Warren Buffett's Connecticut manufacturing companies is moving some operations and employees from East Granby to downtown Hartford, authorities say.

Wire and cable maker RSCC Wire & Cable Group -- formerly Rockbestos-Suprenant Cable Corp. -- leased 2,412 square feet of office space on the top floor of 29-story 280 Trumbull St., across from the XL Center.

Lease terms weren't disclosed.

According to Sentry Commercial, which represented the tenant in lease talks with landlord Grunberg 280 Trumbull LLC, RSCC plans to move some of its office operations and staff from the East Granby plant to the new space.

RSCC senior officials did not immediately respond Monday to a call for comment.
Major tenants at 280 Trumbull include law firm Robinson & Cole and Prudential Retirement.

RSCC and a Chicago affiliate, Marmon Wire & Cable LLC, all part of Buffett's primary investment vehicle, Berkshire-Hathaway Co.


The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours



MARKETWATCH: Buffett style fashions Berkshire’s foreign deals

By Sue Chang, MarketWatch

Reuters
By Sue Chang, MarketWatch 
Warren Buffett has invested only a small portion of Berkshire Hathaway’s vast portfolio outside of the U.S., including Tesco, the U.K.-based retail chain.
 
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Three cheers for the red, white and Buffett. Few investors embody the patriotic spirit of the American heartland as much as Warren Buffett, with his folksy, down-to-earth wit, Nebraska roots and buy-American ideals. But that hasn’t kept the 82-year-old billionaire from bargain-hunting on distant shores.
   

QE3 is bad news for savers

While the stock market may be welcoming news of a new round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, there was no joy among savers. Chuck Jaffe reports on Markets Hub. Photo: Getty Images.
Yet even with his considerable investment acumen and resources, the chairman of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A -0.24%   BRK.B -0.20%  has essentially played it safe by putting most of his international holdings in developed countries that have withstood both the euro-zone debt crisis and the global economic slowdown comparatively better than their peers. 

Among Berkshire’s major stakes at the end of 2011 were four non-U.S. companies: South Korea’s Posco PKX -2.38% KR:005490 -1.18% ; France’s Sanofi S.A. SNY -0.30% FR:SAN -0.79% ; Germany’s Munich Re MURGY +0.31% DE:MUV2 +0.12%  and the United Kingdom’s Tesco PLC TSCDY +0.30% UK:TSCO -0.07%  . 

These stocks account for a fraction of Berkshire’s investment portfolio, but like their U.S. counterparts, they are all bellwethers for their respective markets. And while they don’t exactly fit the mold of what Buffett would describe as “wide-moat” companies — low-cost producers or businesses with powerful brands — they do boast strong competitive advantages. 

“They are not necessary in the top tier of the wide moat category,” said Paul Larson, chief equity strategist at Morningstar. But, he adds, “They all have something going for them.” Read more: Let Buffett's 'moat' protect your portfolio.

‘Buyer of choice’

As Buffett’s biographer, Alice Schroeder, relates in “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life,” Buffett started looking for investments in a country with a market that was “overlooked and undervalued” in 2004. He found it in Korea and by the end of 2006, Berkshire owned a 4% stake in Posco valued at $1.16 billion. Berkshire also bought a 2.9% stake in Tesco, then worth $1.82 billion. 

With its purchase of an 80% stake in Israel’s Iscar Metalworking for $4 billion, 2006 undoubtedly marked Berkshire’s emergence as a “globe-trotting” company. 

“More and more, Berkshire has become ‘the buyer of choice’ for business owners and managers,” Buffett noted in a letter to shareholders at the end of 2006. “Initially, we were viewed that way only in the U.S. (and more often than not by private companies). We’ve long wanted, nonetheless, to extend Berkshire’s appeal beyond U.S. borders.” 

In 2007, Berkshire reported a stake in Sanofi, while Munich Re was added in 2010. Over the past decade, there have been other foreign investments for Buffett, including PetroChina, Swiss Re and BYD Co. But at the end of 2011, only four foreign investment holdings in the Berkshire portfolio had a value of more than $1 billion. Read more: 10 stocks from Buffett and other top investors.
Munich Re (Germany)
 
Berkshire’s investment in reinsurer Munich Re makes sense, given Buffett’s long history with the insurance industry, Larson said. 

Berkshire’s 20.1 million shares of Munich Re, or 11.3% of the company, were valued at around $2.5 billion at the end of 2011, making it Berkshire’s biggest foreign holding.


MURGY 16.30, +0.05, +0.31%

18
16
14
12
10
O
N
12
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
Munich-based Munich Re is the world’s largest insurer by premium revenue, with key operations in reinsurance, insurance and health care. It’s listed on the DAX 30 DX:DAX -0.11%  and the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 XX:SX5E -0.42%


The company’s return on equity at the end of 2011 was 3.3% while debt leverage was 18.3% at the end of 2011, according to the company. In August, Munich Re reported its second-quarter net profit rose 9.8% to 808 million euros ($1.06 billion) from 736 million euros ($965.5 million). Gross premium revenue rose 5.5% to 12.6 billion euros ($16.5 billion). 

Roderick Wallace, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ Equity Research, raised his 2012 profit forecast for the company to 2.75 billion euros ($3.6 billion) from 2.55 billion euros ($3.3 billion), citing improved revenues.
Posco (South Korea)
 
Berkshire owned 5.1% of the world’s fourth-largest steel mill at the end of 2011. “This was a bet on the Korean economy, but the company itself has a relatively good position on cost,” Larson said. 

Formerly known as Pohang Iron and Steel, Posco was established in 1968 by the Korean government more as a symbol of its industrial aspirations rather than a reflection of economic reality. Along with its New York-listed American Depositary Receipts, Posco trades on the Korea Stock Exchange KR:SEU -0.26% and on the London Stock Exchange. 


PKX 83.35, -2.03, -2.38%

100
90
80
70
O
N
12
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
Posco was privatized in 2000 as part of the government’s effort to restructure state-run entities and its name was officially changed to Posco in 2002. It has 33 affiliated companies and is the sixth-largest business conglomerate in Korea with combined sales of $58.3 billion. 

Posco’s return on equity was 9.5% in 2011, according to Samsung Securities. Net debt to equity ratio was 50.1%. In July, it reported its second-quarter profit slumped to 466 billion Korean won ($417 million), from 1.37 trillion won ($1.2 billion) a year earlier
.
Even so, some analysts believe Posco is underpriced, given its growth potential. “Its ability to generate stable earnings outpaces those of its peers,” said Chris Kim, an analyst at Samsung Securities in Seoul.
Sanofi (France)
 
Buffett favors diversified firms with strong development pipelines that regularly bring products to market, Larson said.

SNY 43.68, -0.13, -0.30%

45
40
35
30
O
N
12
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
Sanofi fits that bill. Berkshire held a 1.9% stake in Sanofi, the world’s sixth-largest drug company, at the end of 2011. Headquartered in Paris, Sanofi bought Aventis in 2004 and Genzyme in 2011, as part of an effort to grow through mergers and acquisitions. 

Flagship medicines include sleeping aid Ambien and blood thinner Plavix. Sanofi also manufactures taxotere, which is used in breast cancer treatment. The company’s products are sold in 170 countries and Sanofi has a significant presence in emerging markets, which account for 30% of sales.
In July, Sanofi reported second-quarter net profit climbed 16% to 1.17 billion euros ($1.4 billion) from 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) a year earlier. Sales edged up 0.4% to 8.87 billion euros ($11.6 billion).
Shares of Sanofi are listed on Euronext Paris XX:N100 -0.50%  and foreign investors account for 62.1%. Sanofi’s New York-listed shares are up 25% in 2012 so far. 

Tesco (United Kingdom)
As of Jan. 13, Berkshire held a 5.1% stake in Tesco, the third-largest retailer in the world by sales behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour S.A. The company does business in Europe, Asia and the U.S., where it operates 185 Fresh & Easy grocery stores.

TSCDY 16.93, +0.05, +0.30%

22.50
20.00
17.50
15.00
12.50
O
N
12
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
Tesco reported a net profit of £2.8 billion ($4.5 billion) in fiscal 2012 ended Feb. 25, up from £2.7 billion ($4.4 billion) in the year-ago period. Sales, meanwhile, rose to £64.5 billion ($104.6 billion) from £60.5 billion ($98.1 billion). 

Tesco is rated a hold by Sam Hart at U.K.-based investment manager Charles Stanley. The company is listed on the FTSE 100 UK:UKX -0.37%

“Tesco has a credible plan in place to revive its underperforming U.K. business, but the process is likely to be a protracted one,” Hart said in a June research report. “The current valuation suggests these risks are probably largely discounted, but the shares are unlikely to perform until clear evidence emerges of an improved like-for-like sales performance relative to peers.” 

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours


Monday, September 17, 2012

CNBC: Warren Buffett Completes Prostate Cancer Treatments



Published: Friday, 14 Sep 2012 | 3:54 PM Et
By: Alex Crippen
Executive Producer

Warren Buffett
Getty Images
Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett has completed a series of radiation treatments for prostate cancer.
The Omaha World-Herald quotes Buffett as telling newspaper executives, "It's a great day for me. Today I had my 44th and last day of radiation."

Buffett's office has confirmed to CNBC that the treatments ended today.
The World-Herald, bought by Berkshire last November, says that when he spoke to the executives from several papers Berkshire has purchased, Buffett joked about his plans to be the world's oldest man.
He's happy the treatments are now behind him. "I'll be feeling the side effects for a few weeks yet, but I am so glad to say that's over."
Buffett received the treatments at the Nebraska Medical Center starting in mid-July.
In April, he announced that he had been diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer.  In his letter to shareholders at that time he wrote, "The good news is that I've been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way."

He said the treatments would restrict his travel but not otherwise affect his daily routine, calling the diagnosis a "non-event."

Buffett's April announcement rekindled some people's long-standing concerns about succession, but he reassured shareholders in May that whomever eventually replaces him as CEO will be able to manage risk and make good business deals.  "We're not going to have an arts major in charge of Berkshire.

Current Berkshire stock prices:



Class A: [BRK.A  133000.00    149.00  (+0.11%)   ]
 Share Investor Blog - Stockmarket & Business commentary
Discuss this topic @ Share Investor Forum - Register free

Read the full transcript of the March 2 Squawk Box Interview with Warren Buffett
Download the 2010 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report
Download the 1977 - 2010 Warren Buffett Letter's to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Warren Buffett @ Amazon




The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second EditionThe Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition by Warren E. Buffett
Buy new: $24.32 / Used from: $17.64
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifeThe Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
Buy new: $13.60 / Used from: $4.50
Usually ships in 24 hours