Investing Warren Buffett Watch

  Monday, 14 Mar 2011 | 6:16 AM ET

Berkshire Hathaway to Purchase Lubrizol for $9 Billion

Posted ByDavid Faber

Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to purchase chemical company Lubrizol in a $9 billion cash deal worth $135 per LZ share, the two companies said Monday. The price, a roughly 28 percent premium to Lubrizol's close on Friday is also about 18 percent above the stock's all time high.

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  Wednesday, 9 Mar 2011 | 2:04 PM ET

Warning that Warren Buffett's Bet on Chinese Copycat BYD Could 'Backfire'

Posted ByAlex Crippen

A lengthy "special report" by Reuterstoday warns that Berkshire Hathaway's high-profile investment in BYD, a Chinese electric car maker, could "backfire" on Warren Buffett and his company.

BYD is criticized for "stealing designs from rivals, using those savings to undercut competitors on price and scrimping on safety."

Among other sources, the article quotes from a diplomatic cable "revealed by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters by a third party." In October of 2009, Guangzhou Consul-General wrote:

"While BYD has certainly achieved a measure of success based on a business approach of copying and then modifying car designs just enough to convince Chinese courts that the company has not infringed on patents, it is far less certain that foreign courts will be as sympathetic."

Reuters notes that while analysts say BYD may be "broadly typical" of Chinese automakers, "even in that context, BYD stands out, and there are questions about whether the company's much-ballyhooed — and oft-delayed — e6 all-electric car will ever make it to the U.S. market."

A BYD America executive tells Reuters that no one can match BYD's "genius" battery technology.

Berkshire's 2008 investment in BYD is now worth around $1 billion, five times what it spent for the stake. That's down, however, from just under $2 billion at the end of 2009.

Reuters suggests that if the deal goes "ultimately sour" it will be a "black mark" for David Sokol, the Berkshire exec who "spearheaded it."

Sokol is widely seen as the lead candidate to eventually take over from Buffett as Berkshire's CEO.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

Class B:

Class A:

For more Buffett Watch updates follow alexcrippen on Twitter .

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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  Thursday, 3 Mar 2011 | 3:30 PM ET

Three Investing Gurus See Dark Days Ahead for the Dollar

Gaetan Charbonneau | Getty Imags

The dollar’s dominance among global currencies is coming to an end, according to separate interviews with three of the world’s most successful investors.

The shift will affect everything from Americans’ standard of living to growth rates in emerging economies, and the main uncertainty in these gurus’ forecasts is the speed at which these changes will take place.

“I think it’s inevitable that the dollar’s role as a world currency will diminish from the dominant currency to one of a few,” said Ray Dalio, president of the hedge fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates, in a rare interview this morning on CNBC's Squawk Box . “We’ve been very lucky borrowing at cheaper rates. It will fade probably pretty quickly.”

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  Thursday, 3 Mar 2011 | 1:19 PM ET

Halftime: Will Warren Buffett Buy Colgate?

Posted ByDrew Sandholm

After Warren Buffett told investors he is "hungry" to make acquisitions with Berkshire Hathaway's $38 billion in cash, famed strategist Douglas Kass predicts the stock sage will target a large consumer products company, like Colgate-Palmolive.

Being as Kass views the market as fragile, he thinks only a few sectors are going to hold on, including “staples and necessities.” That, he said, is something Buffett will factor into his next move.

“With Buffett looking for another target, I suspect a large consumer products company is on his menu,” Kass said on Wednesday's "Fast Money ." "I wouldn't be surprised if he (buys) a company as large as Colgate-Palmolive ."

A Berkshire Hathaway shareholder, renown investor Whitney Tilson sees the situation a little differently. Buffett, he said, isn't likely to get the bargain price he desires.

"The stock market has doubled in the past two years," said Tilson, founder and managing partner of T2 Partners. "Blue chips are probably 20 percent undervalued, but they’re no longer 50 percent undervalued as they were."

In addition, Tilson said it's very rare in Buffett's history that he's taken a publicly-traded company private. There aren't that many examples, he said, aside from Clayton Homes, GEICO and Burlington Northern. In each case, Buffett saw extreme value.

"In the case of GEICO or Burlington Northern, he already owned a big slug of the stock and the whole company or the industry was depressed," Tilson explained. "So he was able to come in and buy it at a cheap price."

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  Thursday, 3 Mar 2011 | 12:45 PM ET

Download the Full Transcript

Posted ByAlex Crippen

Here's the complete, downloadable, transcript of Warren Buffett's live three-hour appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box, March 2, 2011.

Among the highlights: Buffett's comments on why 'elephants' are hard to find , how the government should cut back on its economic stimulus efforts, the factors that will lead to greater job growth in 2011, and his now-infamous 'underwear' tie .

To download, either click Download to the right of the CNBC logo immediately below, or you may right-click the Ask Warren graphic above.

If you don't already have Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view the PDF, you can get it at Adobe's web site .

Current Berkshire stock prices:

Class B:

Class A:

For more Buffett Watch updates follow alexcrippen on Twitter .

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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  Wednesday, 2 Mar 2011 | 7:56 PM ET

Warren Buffett vs. the Bears

Posted ByDrew Sandholm

Warren Buffett, the "sainted, genuine stock sage," is completely at odds with what's reported about the stock market in the mainstream media, Cramer said Wednesday. Speaking on CNBC's "Squawk Box," the Oracle of Omaha painted a completely different picture than what one would hear from the bears that dominate the media today.

Buffett, who serves as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway , said he likes investing in the USA. There is "resiliency to the American system," he said. The 80-year-old executive also said the U.S. employment picture will continue to improve and the housing market will pick up after the excess supply is soaked up in one year's time.

Contrary to the bears, who suggest getting out of the stock market, Buffett said he wants to buy stocks now. Of course, the averages have been getting hammered and the bears are quick to note the market is overvalued. From costs to taxes to labor and materials, everything seems to be going up, too. Raw costs may decimate profitability in the steel industry, but Buffett said he likes steel companies.

Also unlike the bears, Buffett is optimistic. He remains bullish on the markets in the face of unrest in the Middle East and rising oil prices, among other calamities.

The renown investor also said he's happy with his purchase of railroad Burlington Northern. The bears, however, scoff at the purchase on fears China could raise rates to where nobody will want to ship anything by rail. Buffett doesn't seem worried, though.

Everything Buffett said seems to counter that what's reported day-in and day-out, Cramer said. Those who, like Buffett, think the U.S. economy is and will improve are made to feel like idiots. But if that viewpoint is making Buffett money, Cramer said it might be time we all give stupidity a chance.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money Web site? madcap@cnbc.com

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  Wednesday, 2 Mar 2011 | 6:09 PM ET

Transcript Part 7: What Should Happen to CEOs of Failed Companies

Posted ByAlex Crippen

Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, March 2, 2011.

This is Part Seven of a transcript of his comments.

Click here for Part Six: China and America's Diminishing Dominance

BECKY QUICK: Welcome back to Squawk Box here on CNBC. We are in Omaha, Nebraska, this morning at the Durham Museum with Warren Buffett. We're going to be answering some of your e-mail questions. And, Warren, just again for people who are coming in late, we're in the Durham Museum in front of the Ernest Buffett Grocery Store. And this is pretty important to you.

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  Wednesday, 2 Mar 2011 | 5:13 PM ET

Transcript Part 6: China and America's Diminishing Dominance

Posted ByAlex Crippen

Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, March 2, 2011.

This is Part Six of a transcript of his comments.

Click here for Part Five: Cars and Bricks

BECKY: Well, let's talk about a big announcement that just came out late last night, NetJets is going to be buying, it looks like, 50 global business jets valued at about $2.8 billion dollars from Bombardier, and you've got options for another 70 global aircraft. If you buy all these, it's going to be retail price exceeding $6.7 billion, and that'd be the largest aircraft purchase in the history of private aviation.

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  Wednesday, 2 Mar 2011 | 4:32 PM ET

Transcript Part 5: Cars and Bricks

Posted ByAlex Crippen

Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, March 2, 2011.

This is Part Five of a transcript of his comments.

Click here for Part Four: Blame Bankers, Bankers, Bankers?

CARL: Speaking of cars, someone who knows an awful lot about that business from multiple directions, Becky, is the man who's with you this morning, Warren, in Omaha.

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  Wednesday, 2 Mar 2011 | 3:04 PM ET

Transcript Part 4: Blame Bankers, Bankers, Bankers?

Posted ByAlex Crippen

Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, March 2, 2011.

This is Part Four of a transcript of his comments.

Click here for Part Three: 'Elephant Gun' Targets & Riding the Railroad

BECKY QUICK: Carl, you have a question, too?

CARL QUINTANILLA: I do, Warren, and I hope you won't mind me again plumbing through the letter, which obviously has a lot of information and a lot of insight. You talk in one area about your managers and how they love to work at Berkshire in part because they're not subjected to meetings at headquarters, or— nor financing worries, nor Wall Street harassment. And I know you pick your words carefully. Do you think bankers have been harassed, and do you sort of agree with what (JPMorgan Chase CEO) Jamie Dimon said in Davos, that he's tired of hearing about blame being placed on, as he put it, bankers, bankers, bankers?

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About Buffett Watch

  • Warren Buffett is arguably America’s most-admired and most-followed investor. Buffett is the largest shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the world’s most famous and most generous philanthropists. Legions of investors - from all walks of life - follow Buffett's homespun investment philosophy: invest in what you know, invest in value. Here on CNBC.com's Warren Buffett Watch, we’ll keep you up to date on what the “Oracle of Omaha” is doing by following Buffett's trades, words and deeds.