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Warren Buffett answers to his shareholders | Money



As Warren Buffett looks to Berkshire Hathaway's Growing Pile of Cash to Work.

The potential for Berkshire to buy back its own stock The Buffett appeared before more than 40,000 shareholders at the CHI Health Center arena for Berkshire's annual meeting. The event also called livestreamed internationally in both English and Mandarin.

Buffett had recently signaled interest in buying as much as $ 1

00 billion of Berkshire's more than $ 500 billion in outstanding stock if he thought the stock was undervalued enough, and he repeated that lofty top figures several times on Saturday.

"There's no master plan on that other than buy aggressively when we like the price," Buffett said at one point. "If it's under-priced, we'll take advantage of it."

Buffett spent more than five hours Saturday offering insights into Berkshire, the economy and financial markets. And while chairman Buffett is now 88 and vice chairman Munger checks at 95,

Buffett seemed sharp as ever, filling his words with his trademark wit and wisdom. And right-hand man Munger was often his usual blunt self.

The meeting thus remains largely the Warren and Charlie Show. Though Buffett has been assigned several senior students in recent years – and one of them is likely to succeed him as Berkshire's next CEO and chairman – he and Munger took the stage alone, Buffett regularly sipping from a Coke, Munger munching on See's Candies peanut brittle.

Berkshire executives, Munger said it's a function of Berkshire's streamlined, unbureaucratic way of making decisions

"You're just going to have to endure us , "Munger quipped."

As Buffett once again paid shareholders in his hometown for the annual Berkshire celebration of capitalism, it was fielded Saturday was on stock buybacks. Buffett had bought back $ 1.7 billion in stock during the first three months of this year.

That the $ 1.3 billion in stock bought Buffett back in all of last year. In the previous five years, Berkshire did not buy any back.

Berkshire's growing pile of cash at the end of 2018 stood at $ 112 billion , While Buffett for years has been on the hunt for "elephant-sized" corporate acquisition, he's complained about the high-end Berkshire's. "

While there are many ways to spend Berkshire's money, Buffett said Saturday, "spending it intelligently is the problem."

Buffett said there is no magic to the $ 100 billion figure he has tossed out for buybacks, though it's close to Berkshire's current cash account. Berkshire stock, a secret he needs to do to avoid signaling future buybacks or influencing the stock's price.

One recent Berkshire buybacks came at higher prices than the stock was trading at as recently as December of last year. Buffett acknowledged that – hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, are not. so, "Buffett said.

One Hurdle to buybacks would have been the loyalty many Berkshire shareholders have for the stock and Buffett, as evidenced by the thousands who flock to Omaha each

Buffett acknowledged that the company's "A" shares, many held by longtime Berkshire investors like himself, do not trade often. But the creation of "B" shares years ago does make shares available on the market.

"There are no more than $ 100 billion in repurchasing shares Than the A, "he said.

Buffett said when Berkshire does buy back shares, it needs to make sure all the selling shareholders, whom Buffett considers partners in the business, have all the information needed to make informed decisions [19659021] Berkshire Hathaway Q & A: Buffett on succession plan, bitcoin, Amazon and advice for young investors ” class=”img-responsive lazyload full” width=”1763″ height=”1175″ data-sizes=”auto” data-srcset=”https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=200%2C133 200w, https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200 300w, https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=400%2C267 400w, https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=540%2C360 540w, https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=750%2C500 750w, https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C800 1200w, https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/omaha.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e3/4e3af5d3-83f6-5850-abfa-11e24e94a9da/5ccdb0731804c.image.jpg?resize=1700%2C1133 1700w”/>

James Shanahan, an analyst who monitors Berkshire for Edward Jones in St. Louis, said the buybacks were revealed early Saturday trading at an earlier this year.

"It's a big surprise that the stock is not weak," Shanahan said.

Several shareholders interviewed said they were OK with Berkshire buybacks, particularly given Buffett's inability to find other ways to deploy the capital.

"If "Bijan Dastmalchian of Scottsdale, Ariz."

Not that the 24-year-old would consider selling his own shares – they were to put $ 10 billion into buybacks. He said he's "Kind of in the Fold Forever."

"Hell, no," Chris Tesari of Los Angeles said at the thought of selling his shares.

One of Buffett's recent outspoken support for Democratic candidates, Berkshire said.

Buffett said he was separate from Berkshire, and noted he's voted for plenty of Republicans over the years.

So he made no socialist.

"I'm a card-carrying capitalist," he said.

A member of a San Francisco investment club made up of police officers so questioned why Buffett has been so quiet Buffalo acknowledged that Wells Fargo made "errors in judgment," "incentivized some crazy things," and said its leaders didn 't act quickly. And that said, Berkshire paid a price for it.

Munger said he was tired of running Sloan, Buffett saying, "We have no evidence that he did a thing." the bank.

Buffett added that he wished CEOs would not go away "so rich" after doing dumb things, drawing applause.

Shanahan, the analyst, said he was disappointed by the responses, which will certainly not be popular with many.

"I cringed a little bit when I heard you defend Tim Sloan," Shanahan said.

Berkshire executives Ajit Jain and Greg Abel, which will help prepare shareholders for the day when Buffett is no longer around. Jain oversees Berkshire's insurance operations; Abel watches over Berkshire's other wholly-owned businesses. Buffett.

Buffett responded that hearing from the Jain and Abel was probably a good idea, saying the format for the Q and A session was not set in stone at all .

One shareholder later took a bailout. Buffett himself later referred to Abel, who leads Berkshire's energy units to a couple of energy-related questions.

Buffett said shareholders will never hear from Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, who was given authority to invest part of Berkshire's stock portfolio. Any information on why they make the investment. Buffett said.

Several children are asking for questions.

One boy asked for buffet gratification.

Buffett, well-known for his frugal ways, joked that he tries to "spend two or three cents of every dollar I earn."