Warren Buffett News: Can a Computer Be As Good As Buffett?

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYCan a Computer Be As Good As Buffett? (MFWire)
Can you make a computer as good an investor as Warren Buffett? One investment firm thinks it can, according to the Wall Street Journal. According to an article today in the Journal’s monthly “Investing in Funds” special report, AQR Capital Management recently published a paper claiming that the shop, which runs 16 mutual funds, has developed a system that picks stocks like Buffett. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based alternatives mutual fund shop declined to comment on whether it plans to roll out a mutual fund based on its Buffett simulator.

Berkshire Cash Nears Record as Buffett Extends Elephant Hunt (SDDT)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s cash pile climbed to near-record levels in the third quarter as Chairman Warren Buffett extended his search for larger acquisitions. Cash surged 17 percent to $47.8 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said in its quarterly regulatory filing Nov. 2. That’s $115 million less than the record at the end of June 2011. Buffett, 82, has relied on stock picks and takeovers to build Berkshire over the past four decades into a company valued at more than $200 billion. As the firm increased in size, the billionaire has focused on managing its biggest equity holdings, including stakes in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), and finding multibillion-dollar acquisitions.

Fayetteville’s Prudential real estate offices expect few changes after Warren Buffett purchase (FayObserver)
The purchase of Prudential Real Estate by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway won’t result in significant changes for three Fayetteville offices of Prudential All American Homes. …Besides buying Prudential, Berkshire Hathaway is acquiring the real estate company Real Living and will operate the partnership under the new brand Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. HomeServices is purchasing Prudential and Real Living from the Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, while joining with Brookfield to create the new company.

New York attorney general launches Sandy price-gouging probe (IFPress)
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday launched an investigation into post-Sandy price gouging after receiving hundreds of complaints from consumers across the state. Schneiderman said his office has received complaints from consumers from areas of the state hit hardest when the massive storm struck one week ago – New York City, the Hudson Valley and Long Island. The largest number of complaints are related to increased gasoline prices, he said in a statement, but consumers also have reported possible gouging for emergency supplies like generators, hotels raising rates due to “high demand,” as well as increased prices for food and water.

Berkshire Hathaway Quarterly Profit Up on Rails, Energy; Insurance Results Weaker (PropertyCasualty360)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, on Friday said its third-quarter profit rose as strength in the railroad and utility businesses, as well as investment gains, offset weaker results in the insurance units. Berkshire earned $3.92 billion, or $2,373 per Class A share, compared with $2.28 billion, or $1,380 per share, a year earlier. Book value, Buffett’s preferred measure of the company’s worth, rose to $111,718 per Class A share, up 11.9 percent since year end. The ice-cream-to-insurance conglomerate, which employs more than a quarter-million people worldwide, reported its cash pile grew to $47.78 billion, up $10 billion from the start of the year.

Oriental Trading CEO Says Berkshire Hathaway Deal Is Right Fit (MultiChannelMerchant)
Berkshire Hathaway, the Omaha, NE-based holding company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, announced Friday it had acquired Omaha, NE-based gifts and novelties merchant Oriental Trading Co. in an all cash deal for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close by the end of November. Oriental Trading president and CEO Sam Taylor said in an email that he and the entire management team will continue to run the business. “By increasing revenue, profits and the customer base over the last few years, Taylor and the entire Oriental Trading team have successfully improved the business and positioned it for long-term growth,” Buffett said in a press release.

Dividend Stocks Deliver Whether Market Is Open or Not (InvestorPlace)
As a dividend investor I purchase quality dividend stocks with the intention to hold them for the long run. Some of the most successful dividend investors have managed to accumulate sizeable fortunes simply by sitting and reinvesting dividends into more income producing assets. Warren Buffett is one of the most successful income investors that I outlined in an earlier article, who has managed to reinvest his money for long periods of time while achieving market beating returns.

Berkshire Profit Advances 72% on Buffett’s Derivatives, Railroad (MoneyNews)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said profit climbed 72 percent in the third quarter on better results from its derivatives book and higher earnings at railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (NYSE:BNI). Net income rose to $3.92 billion, or $2,373 a share, from $2.28 billion, or $1,380, a year earlier, the Omaha, Nebraska- based company said in a statement. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were $2,057 a share, missing the $2,063 average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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