Billionaire News: Warren Buffett’s Newest Move, George Soros’ War, Einhorn, Cohen & Paulson

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN), OpenTable Inc (NASDAQ:OPEN)

Warren Buffett3 Key Takeaways From Buffett’s Latest Buy (Fool)
This isn’t the deal that veteran Warren Buffett watchers were waiting for. But for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) shareholders, it’s still another $2 billion put to work. Earlier today, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) announced that it’s shelling out $2.05 billion to buy the 20% stake of IMC International Metalworking Companies — aka Iscar — that it didn’t already own. …Buffett’s motto at the moment may as well be “Have cash, will invest.” I don’t mean to imply that he’s interested in throwing that cash around willy-nilly, but I think we should fully expect that he’s dead-set on finding a productive home for the green stuff that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) operating companies are spitting out. And they don’t all have to be big bites — as my fellow Fool Steve Symington pointed out, Berkshire has done quite well with “bolt-on” acquisitions as well.

Lee Enterprises refinances $94M in debt with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), avoiding interest rate hike (WashingtonPost)
Newspaper publishing company Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE) said on Tuesday that it has refinanced $94 million worth of debt with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), avoiding an interest rate increase that would have gone into effect next year. …Lee said the refinancing reduces the interest to a fixed rate of 9 percent, down from 11.3 percent, and extends the maturity from December 2015 to April 2017. The interest rate was set to rise to 12.05 percent in January 2014 and to 12.8 percent in January 2015.

Soros Jumps on J.C.Penny, Does it Deserve Another Chance? (Kapitall)
Hedge Fund magnate George Soros recently revealed a 7.9% stake in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). The stock has been pulverized in the market this year, trading down nearly 16% over the course of 2013. Soros’ investment caused the stock to pop 2.54% this week. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s recent marketing efforts targeted younger consumers but it ultimately resulted in a lot of confusion. The brand, wanting to be edgy, has now arguably lost its competitive edge. Investors are as torn as J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s management about choosing the right next steps. While some have speculated it will take returning to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s core competency as a value-oriented brand to bring back their customers, others have suggested fully turning back the clock may be a mistake. After all, the push for change came from a real fear of becoming a stagnant brand.

Soros and Sinn in war of words over Germany euro exit debate (CityWire)
George Soros, who has publically urged Germany to accept the Eurobond or leave the monetary union, has come into heated dialogue with German economist Hans Werner Sinn. Writing in a post for Project Syndicate last week which was published in The Guardian, Sinn launched a verbal attack on Soros who he said ‘is playing with fire’. Referring to Soros’ argument that a euro bond is the only alternative, Sinn wrote: ‘Many investors echo Soros. They want to cut and run – to unload their toxic paper onto intergovernmental rescuers, who should pay for it with the proceeds of Eurobond sales, and put their money in safer havens.’

Paging David Einhorn: Apple Hikes Dividend, Supersizes Buyback As Cash Swells To $145B (Forbes)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) -0.71% released fiscal second-quarter earnings after the bell Tuesday, and said it will deploy more capital to shareholders after its cash hoard swelled to $144.7 billion in the quarter. The increase came after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earned $9.5 billion, or $10.09 per share, on $43.6 billion in revenue during the January-March period. Revenue was up 11.2% from a year ago while profits fell 18.1% as gross margin dropped almost 10 points to 37.5% from 47.4%. Still, the cash pile — comprised of cash and cash equivalents, short-term marketable securities and long-term marketable securities — grew by $7.6 billion from its-year end level of $137.1 billion and is up 31.4% from $110.2 billion a year ago.

David Einhorn’s Vodafone Call is Getting Louder (WallStCheatSheet)
David Einhorn made the case in his most recent quarterly letter to investors that the market was placing no value on Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)‘s stake in Verizon Wireless. However, due to the increasing dependence on the wireless business, the Greenlight Capital founder explained it would not be surprising if Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) decided to buy all of Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) to gain total control of Verizon Wireless. “Maybe there is an investment banker with time on their hands reading this letter,” he wrote. And Einhorn’s call to action has not gone completely unanswered. …The $100 billion deal would be comprised of a roughly even split between cash and stock. It would also be the third-largest acquisition ever, according to Thomson Reuters data. However, many analysts said the $100 billion figure is too low, and $120 billion to $135 billion is more realistic.

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