Warren Buffett takes the stage without Charlie Munger for the first time

Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A, BRK-B) annual shareholders meeting on Saturday will be the first in a new era for the group.

For the first time in decades, Warren Buffett was not joined by Vice Chairman Charlie Munger as he took several hours of questions from Berkshire shareholders. Munger died late last year at the age of 99.

In his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, Buffett described Munger as the “architect” of modern Berkshire Hathaway, which took its name from a now-defunct textile company in New England and grew into the largest conglomerate in the Standard & Poor’s 500.

Buffett, along with Berkshire Vice Chairman Greg Appel and Ajit Jain, began taking several hours of questions from shareholders at about 10:15 a.m. ET.

For the first time, non-contributors were also able to watch the Annual Contributors Film, which includes a montage of some of Munger’s best powerful quotes over the years, as well as some of the celebrities who have appeared in these films over the years.

At the beginning of the Q&A session, Buffett discussed the company’s decision to reduce its holdings of Apple (AAPL) during the first quarter, saying that even though the company sold its shares, in his view, it was “very likely” that the company would still retain its ownership. The largest investment in stocks by the end of the year.

As for the increasing amount of cash and treasury holdings of the company, Buffett said that the value of these holdings is likely to exceed $200 billion during the current quarter, indicating that he is “quite satisfied” with the situation.

In response to a question about Berkshire’s desire to increase investments abroad, and in China specifically, Buffett said: “Our primary investments will always be in the United States.”

He lives9 updates

  • Before Apple launches artificial intelligence soon…

    With Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates in the room, Warren Buffett is adopting a cautious tone on artificial intelligence.

    He said he had an experience with artificial intelligence that made him very “nervous.”

    He saw an image “before his eyes” of himself and his voice, dressed in his clothes, delivering the message “There is no way out of him.”

    “If you are interested in investing in fraud, [AI] It will be a growth industry of all time. …Clearly, artificial intelligence has the potential to achieve good things as well. “As someone who understands nothing about it, it has tremendous potential for good and tremendous potential for harm,” Buffett said.

  • The two stocks Charlie Munger told Warren Buffett he should buy

    BYD (BYDDY) and Costco (COST).

    These are the two stocks that Warren Buffett told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders on Saturday that Charlie Munger argued fiercely about during their years together.

    “Charlie hit the table with me twice and said, ‘Buy, buy, buy.'” BYD was one of them and Costco was another, Buffett told shareholders. “I had to be more aggressive at Costco.”

    “It wasn’t fatal that we weren’t,” Buffett added. [Charlie] He was right, big time, in both companies.”

    Buffett’s answer came in response to a question from a shareholder about what it would take for the company to increase its investments in China. Currently, electric car maker BYD is the company’s only investment in the country.

    “Our core investments will always be in the United States,” Buffett said.

  • Warren Buffett’s next big deal probably won’t come from abroad

    Warren Buffett has loads of cash in Berkshire (BRK.A BRK.B), but don’t expect any big deals to come from abroad.

    Buffett reiterated his love of investing in America:

    “You won’t find us making a lot of investments outside the United States, even though we participate through these companies in the global economy. I understand the US’s rules and vulnerabilities. [and] Strengths….I don’t generally have the same feeling all over the world. The lucky thing is that I don’t have to.”

    However, Buffett reiterated his commitment to investing in Japan.

  • Warren Buffett allays Apple concerns

    As Miles Udland noted above, Berkshire (BRK.A BRK.B) sold some Apple (AAPL) shares in the first quarter.

    Buffett moved quickly to allay concerns about the tech giant, saying whether his views on Apple have changed:

    “No, but we sold shares…. At the end of the year, I think it’s very likely that Apple will now be the largest company we have of common stock…. Charlie and I looked at common stock… as we built up companies, so When we own Dairy Queen or whatever, we look at that as a business…We always look at every stock as a business.”

    Buffett later compared Apple to long-standing holdings American Express (AXP) and Coca-Cola (KO), noting that Apple will be a proprietary company when Greg Appel takes over.

    Yahoo Finance’s Michael Kelly contributed to this post.

  • If Warren Buffett is worried about the country’s debt situation…

    This does not appear in Berkshire’s (BRK.A BRK.B) cash and treasury bill line on the balance sheet.

    Berkshire revealed that it had $182 billion in cash and Treasury bills at the end of the first quarter. Buffett told shareholders the number could reach $200 billion at the end of the second quarter.

    Concerns about the country’s debt began to rise on Wall Street.

    Here’s what Bank of America (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan told Yahoo Finance about our country’s debt.

  • Warren Buffett’s elevator pitch for being a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway

    In case you need this fodder at a cocktail party…

  • Berkshire’s insurance operations are shining, but they won’t be repeated this year

    The main driver of Berkshire’s $11.22 billion operating profit in the first quarter came from the company’s insurance operations, which totaled $5.2 billion in the first quarter.

    Discussing the company’s first-quarter results, Buffett said that Ajit Jain, who leads Berkshire’s insurance operations, “would like me to make it clear to everyone that you can’t take the first-quarter insurance earnings and multiply them by four. That’s not happening.” It works that way in insurance.”

    The company’s insurance risks are spread across geographies and types of catastrophes, but Buffett noted that a major storm along the East Coast of the United States is perhaps the biggest risk to the company. The hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean extends from June to November.

  • Berkshire praises Charlie Munger

    For the first time, Berkshire Hathaway filmed its annual shareholder video — which precedes the question-and-answer session at the annual meeting — on Saturday, which included a set from Charlie Munger and some of his best remarks, a staple at annual meetings and elsewhere. His public appearance.

    Munger died in November 2023 at the age of 99.

    One of the Mungerisms featured in the film is Munger saying at an earlier shareholder meeting: “If I can be optimistic when I’m about to die, surely the rest of you can handle a little inflation.”

    Elsewhere, Munger added: “The right way to make decisions in business life is based on opportunity costs. When you get married, you have to choose what’s best for you. And the rest of your life is the same damned way.” “

  • Berkshire posts record operating profit as Apple slows on investment gains

    Before the annual shareholders meeting on Saturday, Berkshire Hathaway mentioned First-quarter earnings showed record operating profit of $11.22 billion.

    In the first quarter of last year, Berkshire’s operating profit was $8.1 billion.

    However, the company’s investment gains declined sharply compared to the same period last year, reaching only $1.48 billion compared to $24.75 billion last year.

    Apple (AAPL)’s roughly 10% decline in the first quarter weighed on the results here, as the tech giant accounts for about 40% of Berkshire’s holdings.

    In its first-quarter report, Berkshire also revealed that it had diluted its holdings in Apple during the first quarter. At the end of 2023, Berkshire’s stake in Apple was worth $174.3 billion; At the end of the first quarter, the value of this position amounted to $135.4 billion.

    However, at last year’s annual meeting, Buffett took some time to stress to investors that this stock does not actually make up that percentage of Berkshire’s overall portfolio, which includes other wholly-owned subsidiaries.

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