GO
Loading...

Buffett's 2014 action plan

Warren Buffett
Getty Images
Warren Buffett
"General Mills definitely qualifies as the elusive "elephant" Buffett has been trying to bag the past few years." -Alex Crippen, Senior Coordinating Producer, CNBC.com

Buffett will still be running Berkshire Hathaway one year from now.

This has been my best prediction for the past two years and I see no reason not to go for a three-peat, although each year there's a greater chance it will be proved wrong. Even though he will turn 84 in August, Buffett is showing no signs of slowing down and still says "I truly do feel like tap-dancing to work every day."

(More predictions: Email's long-awaited makeover in 2014)

He has, however, been giving portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler more money to work with, acknowledging they outperformed the S&P by "double-digit margins" in 2012, leaving Buffett "in the dust." While Ted and Todd will continue to get more responsibilities in 2014, I expect Buffett will remain in charge as long as he's physically and mentally able to do so.

Berkshire Hathaway will 'bag' General Mills

I've been encouraged to make bold predictions, so here's this year's. Berkshire Hathaway will follow up its $12 billion H.J. Heinz dealwith an even bigger food acquisition. At a market value of $32 billion General Mills definitely qualifies as the elusive "elephant" Buffett has been trying to bag the past few years with all the cash Berkshire has accumulated. It's not flashy (Buffett doesn't like flash) and it has very well-known brands, (Buffett likes brands) including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Yoplait and Häagen-Dazs. (Buffett really likes ice cream.)

(More predictions: 2014: Energy prices hit a 4-year low)

Free cash flow, a metric Buffett also likes, has risen to $2.3 billion as of May, 2013, according to FactSet.

It's important to remember that almost every prediction anyone has made about what Buffett will buy next has turned out to be wrong, and I would be surprised if this one doesn't wind up in that trash heap. But if a deal for General Mills actually happens, I will be bragging for years.

(More predictions: The road ahead: Luxury rules)

Buffett's voice will be heard

Now, an even bolder prediction. Buffett's musical career will explode when he wins "The Voice" with his rendition of "My Way," accompanying himself on ukulele. His "Today" Orange Room gig was just a launching point. You can take this prediction to the Billboard bank.

A look back at 2013

I give myself an overall grade of B for my 2013 Predictions (with points off for a low degree of difficulty).

By Alex Crippen, senior coordinating producer, CNBC.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexcrippen.