"In recent decades, our country’s rising tide has not lifted the boats of the poor," writes Warren Buffett.» Read More
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway on Tuesday disclosed a 5 percent stake in agricultural equipment maker Deere & Co. and said it shed a $3.74 billion investment in oil company Exxon Mobil as oil prices plunged.
The changes were among several that Berkshire made in its common stock investments in the fourth quarter, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing detailing the conglomerate's domestic equity investments as of Dec. 31.
Berkshire began accumulating the bulk of its 17.1 million-share stake in Deere, worth $1.51 billion at year end, in the third quarter of 2014, but had not previously disclosed it. The SEC often lets Buffett quietly accumulate large stakes to deter copycats.
Deere shares rose 1.2 percent in after-market trading.
The stock market index fund Warren Buffett picked in a bet continues to outpace a collection of hedge funds seven years into the 10-year wager.
The latest standings in Buffett's bet with the money managers who own Protege Partners were reported Tuesday by Fortune magazine. Buffett made the bet in 2008 to demonstrate how hefty fees can hurt investment returns.
The Vanguard S&P 500 Admiral index fund Buffett chose is up 63.5 percent since the bet began.
The five funds of hedge funds Protege picked were up roughly 19.6 percent.
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A charity of the winner's choosing will receive at least $1 million. The money both sides put up is invested in Berkshire Hathaway, and it is now worth roughly $1.7 million.
Some of Warren Buffett's big stocks bets have tanked in 2014, and the market hasn't let it pass unnoticed. In fact, anytime a stock Buffett owns declines, the "billions being lost" by Warren makes it into the headlines.
With all the fuss over Warren Buffett's stock-picking prowess, or lack thereof, you might think Berkshire Hathaway has suffered mightily. You'd be wrong, though—way wrong. In fact, Buffett has plenty of reason to smile: Berkshire Hathaway is crushing the S&P 500.
Go big or go home seems to be Warren Buffett's mantra when it comes to philanthropy.
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor made the single biggest charitable donation this year, giving $2.1 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the form of 16.6 million shares of his company, according to Wealth-X's ranking of the 10 largest philanthropic donations of 2014 published on Wednesday.
On Monday, 84-year-old Buffett surpassed Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim to become the world's second richest person as shares of Berkshire Hathaway rallied to an all-time high. Forbes said its real-time ranking of the world's billionaires now estimates Buffett's wealth at $74.4 billion, about $1.5 billion more than Slim's $72.9 billion. Slim is now in third place.
Warren Buffett is now the world's second-richest person as Berkshire Hathaway's stock rallied to an all-time high.
Forbes said its real-time ranking of the world's billionaires now estimates Buffett's wealth at $74.4 billion, about $1.5 billion more than Carlos Slim's $72.9 billion. Slim is now in third place.
Class A shares of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway closed at a record $227,800 after hitting an all-time intraday high of $229,374 in Monday's trading. They're up 28 percent for the year, trouncing the S&P's 11.5 percent gain, excluding dividends.
In March, Forbes estimated Buffett's fortune at $58.2 billion. He was No. 4 on the list at that time, behind Mexico's Slim with $72 billion and Spanish fashion executive Amancio Ortega with $64 billion.
In an SEC filing Friday afternoon, Berkshire said it held 40 million GM shares as of the end of the third quarter on Sept. 30.
That's an increase of 21 percent from the almost 33 million shares it owned three months earlier on June 30.
The additional shares are worth more than $223 million at GM's current price. The full stake is valued at almost $1.3 billion.
That's surely a sign the Buffett isn't all that confident about P&G's long-term future.
P&G, the global beauty and home products maker, added about $1.8 billion in cash to the deal. That values Duracell itself at about $2.9 billion. Buffett could presumably have just given P&G stock worth that amount and kept the remaining shares. Instead, he unloaded all 52.8 million shares and, like someone using a dollar bill to buy a 75 cent candy bar, got some change back.
As Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj told Reuters, "I don't take it as a good sign that Buffett would rather own Duracell than P&G."
P&G will receive shares of P&G's common stock currently held by Berkshire, which has a current value of nearly $4.7 billion. Procter & Gamble is one of Berkshire Hathaway's biggest stock holdings.
P&G said it would contribute about $1.8 billion in cash to recapitalize Duracell before the transaction.
Warren Buffett is legendary as an investor, but he's also an incredibly successful businessperson, too—a fact that sometimes gets lost in the millions of words that have been written about his advice on how to buy a stock.
That advice can be summarized with a just a few words. Appearing on the CNBC-produced syndicated program "On the Money" last month, Buffett said, "If you own your stocks as an investment—just like you'd own an apartment, house or a farm—look at them as a business."
Using that viewpoint, you shouldn't buy a stock simply because you think it will go up in price sometime soon. Instead, you should buy a piece of a business that you think will generate profits for a long time to come.
That long-term perspective is also at the core of the business advice that Buffett has provided over the years.