FRI, APR 28, 2023
Buffett's 'Woodstock for Capitalism' is just one week away
More than five hours of Q&A with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger will be the centerpiece of the Berkshire Hathaway 2023 Annual Shareholders "Festival" a week from tomorrow on Saturday, May 6, at the CHI Health Center, which is a convention center and arena in Omaha, Nebraska (and is not a medical facility.)
Here's what you need to know:
During the morning session from 9:15 AM to 12 PM Central Time, Buffett and Munger will be joined by Ajit Jain, who runs Berkshire's insurance operations and Greg Abel, who is in charge of everything else and is currently designated to be the company's next CEO.
- Only Buffett and Munger will be on stage for the afternoon session from 1 PM to 3:30 PM CT.
The formal shareholders meeting, in which directors are elected and shareholder proposals are considered, is scheduled to begin at 4:30 PM CT.
Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting on April 30, 2022. Photo: Reuters | Scott Morgan
CNBC television and CNBC.com will carry live coverage of the Q&A sessions, along with "pre-show," "halftime," and "post-show" programming hosted by CNBC's Becky Quick and Mike Santoli.
Streaming at https://www.cnbc.com/brklive/ begins at 8:45 AM CT (9:45 ET). CNBC television will start airing the coverage at 9 AM CT (10 ET).
Questions will be asked by randomly-selected shareholders attending the meeting in rotation with Becky, who "will curate questions from non-attending shareholders and use those she believes will have the widest interest."
Questions may be submitted be email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berkshire's "Shareholders Guide," with extensive information about all of the weekend's events, is available on the company's website.
In the guide, Buffett says he made a "mistake" last year by "spending too much time on a few subjects." He promises he won't go "astray" this year and expects that roughly 60 questions will be answered.
'Buffett still has what it takes'
In a pre-meeting article, Barron's Andrew Bary writes this week that "it's a great time to bet on Buffett and Berkshire stock."
He says Buffett "seems as sharp as ever" and is "acting like Buffett again," buying stocks like Chevron and Occidental Petroleum, acquiring insurer Alleghany for a "cheap price" last year, and increasing Berkshire's stake (as scheduled) in the parent of Pilot Flying J truck stops.
In addition, Berkshire has "never been in better shape," with after-tax operating earnings from its businesses expected to increase more than 10% this year.
According to Bary, "Add it all up and Berkshire stocks looks appealing, despite not appearing cheap" with the A shares trading at 21.6 times projected earnings for the year versus 18.9 for the S&P.
Berkshire distances itself from troubled talc supplier
Berkshire Hathaway is stressing its tangential relationship with a subsidiary that filed for bankruptcy this week in the face of numerous personal injury lawsuits accusing it of selling talc contaminated with asbestos.
In a news release Thursday, Berkshire says an "indirect" subsidiary of the company acquired the equity of Whittaker, Clark & Daniels and several of its associates in 2007.
Although they still had claims against them, they had "ceased their operations in 2004 and sold all their operating assets prior to the acquisition."
In addition, "No Berkshire company ever operated, or had any involvement in, the manufacturing and chemical operations that gave rise to the companies’ liabilities."
The Wall Street Journal reports Whittaker Clark filed for chapter 11 even though a judge in South Carolina ordered the appointment of a receiver after the company lost a $29 million verdict last month.
The lawyers for the plaintiffs in that case tells the Journal he will challenge the bankruptcy filing.
BUFFETT AROUND THE INTERNET
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
“Learn from the other guys’ mistakes” (1997)
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger share their strategies for avoiding mistakes and explain why most of their errors have been “mistakes of omission.”
BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - Apr. 28, 2023
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded U.S. stocks, and BYD, by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of December 31, 2022 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on February 14, 2023, except for:
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
Please send any questions or comments about the newsletter to me at email@example.com. (Sorry, but we don't forward questions or comments to Buffett himself.)
If you aren't already subscribed to this newsletter, you can sign up here.
Also, Buffett's annual letters to shareholders are highly-recommended reading. There are collected here on Berkshire's website.
-- Alex Crippen, Editor, Warren Buffett Watch
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