Warren Buffett will have plenty to talk about at annual gathering

Warren Buffett will have plenty to talk about at annual gathering

Troy Powers
May 5, 2019

Yahoo Finance will host a forum on business opportunities between China and the United States here Friday during the annual shareholders' meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., according to a pre-event notice issued by Yahoo. Instead, it was one of his younger deputies who opted to invest in the ecommerce behemoth.

These results illustrate what Buffett has called the "wild and capricious" and, in his view, meaningless swings caused by an accounting rule requiring the reporting of unrealized stock gains with earnings, regardless of Berkshire's plans to sell.

But that unsuccessful investment did not stop the company from becoming one of the biggest in the world, with a market value of more than $500 billion and with almost 400,000 employees.

Warren Buffett's Apple fandom is even more significant since he historically steered clear of technology stocks. Amazon's closing price on Thursday, ahead of this disclosure, was $1,900.82, and the shares were up nearly 2% at $1,938 shortly after the opening bell on Friday. "Amazon is kind of the flip side of that".

Speaking ahead of Berkshire's annual shareholders meeting on Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett also told CNBC he'd been "an idiot for not buying" shares in Amazon in the past.

Amazon shares opened up 2019 at roughly $1,540, and the high in the first quarter came in late March at close to $1,820.

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That hasn't just benefitted Buffett, but also Apple shareholders in general.

The billionaire all-star investor disclosed the move in an interview with CNBC, telling the broadcaster that the stock purchases were bought by "one of the fellows in the office that manage money". "It speaks to what we're seeing at Berkshire, the beginning of the changing of the guard, as Warren and Charlie Munger are getting on in years".

Buffett's portfolio managers are Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, but the report did not say which of them bought the shares or how much he bought.

The Berkshire investment is contingent on Occidental completing its proposed purchase of Anadarko.

Succession: Buffett is 88 years old and Munger is 95.

Before then, the company's stock bets were dominated by banks and other financial services and consumer goods groups such as Coca-Cola.