Warren Buffett News: Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK.A) Adds 17,000 to Payroll as Buffett Extends Reach

Berkshire Adds 17,000 to Payroll as Buffett Extends Reach (Bloomberg)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) added about 17,000 employees since the end of 2011 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett expanded manufacturing, media, insurance and retail operations. Berkshire and its more than 70 operating subsidiaries have about 288,000 workers, the Omaha, Nebraska-based firm said yesterday in a regulatory filing. That’s 6.3 percent higher than the 270,858 disclosed in the 2011 annual report. Buffett’s willingness to invest in a variety of industries has reduced Berkshire’s reliance on insurance operations and made the firm one of the largest U.S. employers. Companies that primarily sell insurance, such as The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) and The Chubb Corporation (NYSE:CB), have trimmed staff in the five years through the end of 2011 as they returned capital to shareholders. Berkshire pays no dividend and went decades without buying back shares.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYIs Buffett’s Elephant Gun Ready to Fire? (Fool)
In this video, Foolish financial analyst Matt Koppenheffer reviews a recent Wall Street Journal article indicating that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) was in discussions to buy NYSE Euronext. While Berkshire may have backed away from this particular deal, Matt believes it is indicative of Buffett’s intention to make one or more major acquisitions in the days to come. Warren Buffett’s long track record of success has made him one of the best investors of all time. With the Buffett at the helm, Berkshire Hathaway has grown book value per share at a compounded annual rate of 19.8% for nearly 50 years! Despite an incredible historical track record, investors have to understand the key issues to watch moving forward. To help investors, the Fool’s resident Berkshire Hathaway expert Joe Magyer has created this premium research report on the company. Inside, you’ll receive ongoing updates as key news hits, as well as reasons to both buy and sell the stock.

Buffett’s Berkshire Said to Plan Four-Part Bond Offering to Refinance Debt (MoneyNews)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to sell benchmark bonds in four parts to pay down debt due next month. Berkshire, which its 82-year-old chairman built into a $242 billion company with takeovers and stock picks, plans to issue three-, five-, 10- and 30-year debt as soon as Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of the offering. Proceeds from the deal will repay $1.2 billion of floating-rate notes and $1.4 billion of 2.125 percent fixed-rate securities, both due Feb. 11, said the person, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t set.

Berkshire Hathaway, CME Eyed NYSE Deals (WSJ)
Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has said he wouldn’t care if the stock market closed down for years, made a bid late last year for the iconic New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRKB +0.12% participated in discussions to purchase NYSE Euronext, NYX +0.80% owner of the Big Board, according to people familiar with the talks. Ultimately, the two sides didn’t agree on price, one of the people said. In December, NYSE Euronext instead announced an agreement to sell itself to IntercontinentalExchange Inc., ICE +1.21% or ICE, for $8.2 billion.

Buffett company buys Prudential Gaslight Realtors in Blue Springs (KansasCity)
One of Warren Buffett’s affiliated companies, HomeServices of America Inc., has acquired Prudential Gaslight Realtors in Blue Springs to expand in Kansas and Missouri. The acquisition, which was completed at the end of 2012, was formally announced Monday. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Prudential Gaslight, which was started in 1965, has been renamed Prudential KC Realty, Minneapolis-based HomeServices said. It has about 25 brokers and serves a large territory that includes eastern Jackson County.

Howard Buffett gift sends photojournalists globetrotting (JournalStar)
In 2007, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation announced a $730,000 endowed gift to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications to send aspiring photojournalists across the globe to capture images of human need. Renowned photographers Joel Sartore and Thomas Mangelsen added $10,000 each, and another $250,000 came from university-owned private funds to offer enticing, meaningful opportunities to photo-focused students. Buffett, himself a lifelong photographer and son of Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett, challenged students to come back with images that can help push for foreign-policy changes.

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