What Warren Buffett Likes About Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (CBI)

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Scores of investors scour Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A)’s holdings in attempts to mimic legendary CEO Warren Buffett’s picks. After all, Buffett is deemed the greatest investor of all time, and rightly so.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) has averaged an annual growth in book value of 19.7% over the last 48 years. That compares to 9.4% for the S& P 500 Index, including dividends, over the same period.

Consider that a $10,000 investment in Berkshire Hathaway in 1965, the year Buffett took the helm, swelled to nearly $30 million by 2005. In comparison, $10,000 plowed into the broad-based S&P 500 would have grown to only about $500,000.

Moreover, the conglomerate produced a total return of 76% over the decade from 2000-2012, versus a negative 11.3% return for the broad based S&P. Even more impressive, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) has done it with minimal debt.

When Berkshire recently reported its Q1 portfolio holdings, it was revealed the Omaha based company holds 41 stocks with a total value of $85 billion. It upped its stake in Wells Fargo, Verisign , DaVita Health Care, Direct TV, Wal-Mart Stores and National Oilwell Vacaro. It reduced its position in snack food company Mondelez, and sold its position in General Dynamics and Archer Daniels Midland.

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI)

Buffett’s only buy in Q1 was Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI)

In Q1, Buffett’s sole addition to his portfolio was Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI). Buffett bought 6,508,600 shares at an average price of $52.76.

The company, founded in 1889, provides conceptual design, technology, engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction, commissioning and associated maintenance services to customers in energy and natural resources industries.

Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI)’s first quarter 2013 results were impressive. Net income came in at $33.6 million or $0.32 a share. Revenue was $2.3 billion, with new contract awards of $1.9 billion, resulting in a backlog of $25.5 billion. Year-over-year, revenue soared 87%. Forward guidance was optimistic.

Present projects run the gamut of technologies for upstream and downstream oil and gas, nuclear, clean coal and gas, hydroelectric power, water and wastewater, metals and mining and federal projects.

Last year, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI) bought rival Shaw Group in a $3 billion deal that created one of the world’s largest infrastructure companies. The merged company, called Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (NYSE:CBI) & Shaw, is involved in everything from building nuclear power plants in the U.S. and China to constructing gas-processing plants and oil storage tanks globally.

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