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Factbox: Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett at a glance
May 3, 2017 / 5:17 AM / 7 months ago

Factbox: Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett at a glance

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), will this weekend welcome thousands of people from around the world to Omaha, Nebraska, for the conglomerate’s annual shareholder gathering, the largest in corporate America.

The three-day weekend, which Buffett calls “Woodstock for Capitalists,” includes shopping discounts, a five-kilometer run, a cocktail reception that consumes a shopping mall, and Berkshire’s annual meeting on May 6. The meeting will be webcast on Yahoo Finance, in English and Mandarin.


-Net income: $24.07 billion (2016)

-Operating income: $17.58 billion (2016)

-Revenue: $223.60 billion (2016)

-Cash, equivalents and Treasury bills: $86.4 billion as of Dec. 31, 2016

-Market value: nearly $410 billion as of May 2, 2017

-Stock price: $249,000 per Class A share as of May 2, 2017, roughly 6.5 percent below its $266,390 peak two months earlier. The more widely-held Class B shares are worth about 1/1,500th as much.

-Compounded annual changes from 1965-2016:

-Book value per share: 19.0 percent

-Stock price: 20.8 percent

-S&P 500 including dividends: 9.7 percent (pre-tax)

-Float (insurance premiums collected before claims are paid, which helps fund investments): $91.6 billion as of year-end

-Major stock investments: American Express, Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Wells Fargo. Berkshire has also taken big stakes in the four largest U.S. airlines: American, Delta, Southwest and United Continental. It also has a roughly $11.5 billion paper gain from warrants in Bank of America.

-Selected business units: Benjamin Moore, Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, BNSF, Borsheim’s Fine Jewelry, Brooks, Business Wire, Clayton Homes, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom, Geico, General Re, HomeServices of America, IMC International Metalworking, International Dairy Queen, Johns Manville, Lubrizol, Marmon, McLane, National Indemnity, Nebraska Furniture Mart, NetJets, Pampered Chef, Precision Castparts, See’s Candies.

-Last major acquisition: Precision Castparts, January 2016

-Selected acquisitions (larger amounts rounded to nearest billion): Geico, $2.3 billion (1996); Dairy Queen, $590 million (1998); General Re, $16 billion (1998); NetJets, $725 million (1998); Clayton Homes, $1.7 billion (2003); PacifiCorp, $5 billion (2006); Marmon, $4.5 billion (2008); Burlington Northern Santa Fe, $27 billion (2010); Lubrizol, $9 billion (2011); NV Energy, $6 billion (2013); H.J. Heinz, $12 billion (majority stake, 2013); Van Tuyl, $4.1 billion (2015); Precision Castparts, $32 billion (2016). (Sources: Barclays Capital, Berkshire)

-A failed acquisition: Dexter Shoe, $434 million (1993) (Buffett says he used Berkshire stock now worth roughly $6.3 billion to buy a business whose value “promptly went to zero”)

-Employees at year end: 367,671

-Employees in main office: 25, including Buffett

-Succession: Buffett, 86, and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, 93, have not publicly signaled any plans to retire. Buffett has said Berkshire’s board has a succession plan it could implement in fewer than 24 hours.

-Potential successors: Investors view Berkshire insurance executive Ajit Jain and Berkshire Hathaway Energy chief Gregory Abel as top candidates to become chief executive. BNSF Chairman Matthew Rose is also a potential candidate. Buffett’s investing lieutenants Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who together recently managed $21 billion, may take over as chief investment officer. Buffett’s eldest son Howard is expected to become non-executive chairman, and work to preserve Berkshire’s culture. Buffett protégé Tracy Britt Cool, 32, chairs several Berkshire units and is chief executive of Pampered Chef.


1965: 12

1979: about 24

1986: 1,000

1995: 4,100

1997: 7,700

2000: 13,000

2005: 21,000

2015: 40,000+

2016: 37,000 (meeting was webcast for first time; 1.1 million unique online visits were logged in real time)

(Sources: Omaha World-Herald, Berkshire, Reuters)


    Birth date: August 30, 1930

    Education: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Columbia Business School

    Net worth: $74.3 billion on May 2, 2017, ranking fourth worldwide. Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) co-founder and a Berkshire director since 2004, ranked first. (Source: Forbes)

    Berkshire ownership stake: 17.9 percent as of March 17, 2017

    Berkshire voting power: 32.7 percent as of March 17, 2017

    Annual salary at Berkshire: $100,000

    Buffett’s takeover of Berkshire: Buffett planned in 1965 to sell back his shares in Berkshire, then a struggling textile company, for $11.50 each. But he got angry when the term sheet showed a price of just $11.375 per share. Buffett instead bought all the shares he could, and took control on May 10, 1965. The textile business closed in 1985.

    Year when Buffett met Charlie Munger: 1959

    Munger’s influence: Though Buffett and Munger admire famed investor Benjamin Graham, Buffett has credited Munger with pushing him to focus on buying wonderful companies at fair prices, rather than fair companies at wonderful prices.

    Famous Buffett quotation: “Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.” - Sept. 4, 1991 Congressional testimony about Salomon Inc, where Buffett became interim chairman to restore order after a Treasury auction bidding scandal.

    Current wife: Astrid Menks, married on August 30, 2006

    First wife: Susan, who died in 2004

    Children: Susan, Howard and Peter

    Philanthropy: Buffett has since 2006 donated more than $24.3 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities, after pledging 85 percent of his net worth to them. His Berkshire stock will go to philanthropy after he dies.

    Home: Has lived in the same house since 1958. The 96-year-old, 10-room, five-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath home on 0.72 acres was assessed at $730,800 in 2017. (Source: Douglas County, Nebraska)

    Food preferences: Steak, hamburger, Cherry Coke, See’s fudge and peanut brittle.

    Percentage of caloric intake from Coke products: 25.

    Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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