FRI, APR 29, 2022
Something new: Shareholders at Berkshire's shareholders meeting
After two pandemic years of holding the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting without an audience, Warren Buffett's annual 'Woodstock for Capitalists' is back to something approaching normal this year.
But not entirely normal. Reuters quotes Berkshire as saying it expects this year's attendance to be "considerably less" than the 40,000 who have come to meetings in recent years. Those who do make it will need to provide proof they are vaccinated against COVID.
One investor from Pittsburgh tells the news service he's breaking a 25-year streak because he's "not doing much flying yet."
The most important aspect of the meeting, however, is back to normal.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger will be answering all kinds of questions from shareholders for around five hours, with a break for lunch. Vice-chairmen Greg Abel and Ajit Jain will join them for the morning session.
CNBC's Becky Quick will be asking some of the questions submitted by email.
Along with Mike Santoli, she will also be hosting our exclusive CNBC.com live stream of the meeting, with coverage starting at 9:45 AM ET (8:45 Central/Omaha time).
The business meeting portion of the event, which will include voting for the board of directors and several shareholder proposals, is scheduled to start at 4:45 PM ET (3:45 CT) and run for around 45 minutes.
CalPERS, the big state pension fund, generated some headlines when it said it would vote for a proposal that would prohibit the same person from being both chairman and CEO of Berkshire. That would effectively require Buffett to give up one of the two roles that he now occupies. It is almost certain, however, the proposal will be defeated by a large margin.
And as the doors are opening at the arena around 8AM ET (7 CT), Berkshire will post its first quarter financial results on its website.
As the Berkshire meeting was taking a two-year break for the pandemic, another annual tradition was also put on hold: the online auction for charity of a lunch with Buffett.
It's back this year, but it will be what organizers are calling "the grand finale" of one of eBay's "most legendary auctions."
Online bidding begins on June 12 and ends on June 17. The winner, along with up to seven guests, will share lunch with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York.
Bidding starts at $25,000 and participants need to be pre-qualified.
The winning bid in the most recent auction, held in 2019, was almost $4.6 million. Since the auction moved to eBay in 2003, it has raised more than $34 million.
Proceeds go to San Francisco's Glide, which describes itself as "is a nationally recognized center for social justice, dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives."
No word on why Buffett is ending the tradition after this year.
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BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - Apr 29, 2022
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded U.S. stocks by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of December 31, 2021 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on February 14, 2022, except for Apple, Bank of America, and U.S. Bancorp, which also include shares held as of December 31, 2021 as disclosed in New England Asset Management’s 13F filing on February 14, 2022, and except for Occidental Petroleum, which is as of March 16, 2022.
In addition to U.S. stocks, shares held as of December 31, 2021 of China's BYD, as listed in Buffett's 2021 letter to shareholders, are included. The price of those shares in U.S. trading is used to approximate the current market value of the position. The value of the stake as a percentage of the company's market value is fixed at what was listed as of December 31, 2021 in the letter.
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
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-- Alex Crippen, Editor, Warren Buffett Watch