Bored at work this morning?

Buffet’s latest annual letter is out and here are three comments I found interesting

  • Charlie and I encourage bolt-ons, if they are sensibly-priced. (Most deals offered us aren’t.) They deploy capital in activities that fit with our existing businesses and that will be managed by our corps of expert managers. This means no more work for us, yet more earnings, a combination we find particularly appealing. We will make many more of these bolt-on deals in future years.
  • In 2013, I soured somewhat on the company’s then-management and sold 114 million shares, realizing a profit of $43 million. My leisurely pace in making sales would prove expensive. Charlie calls this sort of behavior “thumb-sucking.” (Considering what my delay cost us, he is being kind.) During 2014, Tesco’s problems worsened by the month. The company’s market share fell, its margins contracted and accounting problems surfaced. In the world of business, bad news often surfaces serially: You see a cockroach in your kitchen; as the days go by, you meet his relatives.
  • As much as Charlie and I talk about intrinsic business value, we cannot tell you precisely what that number is for Berkshire shares (nor, in fact, for any other stock). In our 2010 annual report, however, we laid out the three elements – one of them qualitative – that we believe are the keys to a sensible estimate of Berkshire’s intrinsic value

Source: Berkshire Hathaway

  1. Bht 100 says Arjit Jain is the anointed one. Incredibly smart and relatively young–might well have avoided Exxon, Tesco, IBM…and might even have backed off slightly from Coke (we will never know). We do know it was Jain who visited LOS after the floods to skim the hugely profitable supercat insurance premia/premiums? after the French left and THRE had to eat the big claims–after litigation.

    • Starting to hear rumors about some shady things in Berkshire’s financial statements, especially about the consolidated reporting possibly covering up extra losses.

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