Buffett Watch

Warren Buffett's Railroad Ride Paying Off as Burlington Northern Hits All-Time High

Warren Buffett's railroad ride with Burlington Northern Santa Fe looks increasingly profitable lately.  The stock jumped almost 5 percent today (Wednesday) to close at an all-time high of $99.30.

Current price:

Burlington Northernrallied along with other railroad stocks after rival CSX reported surprisingly strong earnings last night, despite a softening U.S. economy.  Burlington Northern is scheduled to release its first quarter results in just under two weeks on April 29.

Today's close for Burlington Northern lifts the stock to a 30 percent gain from its January 22 close, just after Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway finished a string of almost daily buys during the monthtotaling almost three million shares.  Those purchases were all in the mid to high $70s.  (You can see the 'January buying opportunity' dip in Burlington's stock price in the chart above.)

Berkshire picked up even more shares last summer and fall, accumulating over 60 million shares for a stake of over 17 percent in Burlington Northern.   Many of those purchases were also made in the vicinity of 80 dollars a share.

As Buffett was buying Burlington Northern last year, he was also selling two other railroads: Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific .  

Norfolk Southern's stock has gained more than Burlington Northern (33.3% vs 29.8%) since January 22.  Union Pacific is underforming over the same period, with a 23.7 percent advance.  

Current Berkshire price:

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