Looking at Berkshire’s Holdings by ROE, ROA & ROI

We know that following Warren Buffett’s investments, even after they are publicly disclosed, can produce stellar long-term returns for investors. Knowing this, we decided to take 30 of Berkshire’s Q3 holdings and look more closely at each company’s returns on equity, assets and investment (Validea’s Buffett-based model uses ROE in its formula). By looking at ROE, ROA and ROI, we are able to see what firms in Berkshire’s portfolio are generating the highest return to shareholders and which ones are most profitable given their asset base. The list could be a good place to start if you want to dive […]

Tilson on “Points of Maximum Pessimism”, and Buffett Bashers

In a column for The Financial Times, fund manager Whitney Tilson says that, while he’s no optimist about the U.S. economy’s short-term prospects, he does “believe the level of panic that has overtaken the market has created buying opportunities for investors who can see light at the end of the very dark tunnel.” Tilson indicates that we’re at or near what the great John Templeton called “points of maximum pessimism”; that is, as Tilson puts it, times “when the prevailing but myopic outlook for a country, sector or individual company becomes so negative that shares can fall to fire-sale levels.” […]

Buffett, Berkshire Snatch Up More Rail Shares

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway now owns almost 20% of Burlington Northern after put options it wrote were exercised. Over the past year or so, Buffett has continued to buy up shares in Burlington Northern, the country’s second largest rail company. He has previously said that “railroads have good long-term prospects and are healthier today than in past years,” according to the Associated Press. CNBC’s Warren Buffett’s Watch, written by Alex Crippen, provides additional detail on the option trade that resulted in Berkshire buying another 3.3 million shares of the railroad.

Buffett, Berkshire Navigating Subprime Better than Many

While many have criticized Warren Buffett’s recent Goldman Sachs stock buy (Goldman shares have tumbled since Buffett bought $5 billion in preferred stock on Sept. 23), Bloomberg’s Ari Levy reports that Berkshire Hathaway’s overall financial stock performance has been well ahead of the sector average in recent months. Writes Levy, “Berkshire’s bank-related investments rose 36 percent in the third quarter, while the 84-member Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index declined 0.2 percent.” For the past year (through September), a weighted basket of Berkshire’s financial stocks rose at an average quarterly rate of 2.3 percent, according to Bloomberg data, while the […]

Buffett to Disclose More on Derivatives; Tilson Ups Berkshire Stake

Warren Buffett says he will give more information on Berkshire Hathaway’s much discussed derivative bets in the company’s end-of-year-report, Reuters is reporting. The derivatives contracts call for the firm to pay out billions to purchasers if, by certain dates starting in 2019, four different market indices fall below agreed-upon levels. Rumors that Berkshire’s liabilities for the contracts could be more than previously thought caused the firm’s stock to plunge — and its credit default swap rates to surge — last month. Buffett isn’t expressing worry about the deals, however, nor is hedge fund manager and Kiplinger’s columnist Whitney Tilson. Tilson […]