Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR)
What Value Does Warren Buffett See in Solar? (Fool)
Solar power has a growing presence in the U.S., which can be a contentious topic after a few high-profile failures in the industry. …Warren Buffett isn’t making just any investment in solar. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) subsidiary MidAmerican Energy is buying huge solar projects with long-term power purchase agreements. As these projects generate electricity the contracted utility pays a set rate per kilowatt hour, which is negotiated long before a project is ever built. Since the cost of the project is fixed when Buffett buys it and the cash flows are easily predictable, in essence, Buffett is buying an asset similar to a bond, something he is very comfortable with. The size of the investments Buffett is making is what makes his fascination with solar astounding. He owns two projects built by First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), including 49% of Agua Caliente, which he co-owns with NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG), and a third project called Antelope Valley, the largest solar power plant in the world, which is currently under construction by SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR).
WARREN BUFFETT THINKS GOLD INVESTING IS STUPID (Slant)
‘Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head’ over our obsession with the precious metal Perhaps my favorite take on gold investing comes from Warren Buffett, the iconic investor behind Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A). Delivered at Harvard in 1998, it goes a little something like this: (Gold) gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head. The idea is simple: There is no use for gold, only some arbitrary “value” we place on it. Sure, gold was historically used as currency — but why not Cowry shells, which were one of the earliest forms of currency in China? Just because it’s rare and some people value it doesn’t mean that gold is an “investment,” especially to someone like Warren Buffett who is concerned with statistics like book value and cash flow.
Goldman Sachs Floats On Buffett Moat (Forbes)
As Warren Buffett prepares to make a “significant” investment in Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) shares, the nation’s top standalone investment bank is just beginning to prove itself as an investment worthy of the pedigree of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A). For the seventh quarter out of nine, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) beat earnings estimates on continued trading and underwriting market share gains. Meanwhile, banking conglomerates and international players have retrenched from Wall Street. More importantly, as Goldman’s near 10% first quarter earnings growth generally reflects a recovery in merger activity, debt underwriting and a thawing of the market for initial public offerings, the firm has laid out a predictable path towards growing its bottom line.
Warren Buffett Is Crude Oil’s Conductor of Choice (Fool)
I’ve been following the remarkable rise of the railroads as the preferred shipment option for our increased crude oil production. Last year, crude oil and petroleum products delivered by rail rose by over 30%. This was driven primarily by the rise in production coming out of North Dakota’s Bakken region. Bakken producers like Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR) seem to have a sweet spot for this age-old mode of transportation. The company and its peers had been producing more oil than the current pipeline infrastructure could handle. That created a huge differential between the price of Bakken crude and that of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate. However, thanks to the rails, that differential has come down significantly.
Berkshire Meeting Security Plans Unaltered Following Boston Bombing (KLIN)
Omaha police say the explosions at the Boston Marathon aren’t likely to change the security at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s annual meeting, which is expected to attract more than 30,000 next month. Omaha Police Lt. Darci Tierney says there are no threats locally, so police are not making any immediate changes in their approach. Tierney says Warren Buffett’s company always hires private security officers and works with local police on security for the Berkshire event. Thousands of people come to Omaha for the annual meeting, which is planned for May 4. Berkshire officials did not immediately respond to a message Monday afternoon.