Warren Buffett News: Buffett And Berkshire Hathaway Are Thriving

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYInvesting: Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are thriving (ChicagoTribune)
Birthday greetings to Warren Buffett, who shows no signs of slowing down even as he turns 82. As Buffett ages, the question of what Berkshire Hathaway (symbol BRK-B) will look like — and what its shares will be worth — once its legendary chairman and CEO is no longer at the helm becomes more pressing. But investors can find plenty of reasons to like Berkshire stock even if Buffett is out of the picture. Chief among them: The price is right. The stock is the cheapest it has been in about 15 years (other than in the darkest days of the 2007-’09 bear market), says Whitney Tilson, co-manager of Tilson Focus Fund.

Warren Buffett Buys U.S. Subsidiary of Israel’s Clal Insurance (JewoCity)
The National Indemnity Company, which is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed to buy the Guard Financial Group, the U.S. subsidiary of one of Israel’s largest insurance companies, Clal Insurance Enterprises. The agreed purchase price is $221 million. However, it wipes away $48 million in bank loan guarantees from Clal Insurance’s books, which it had given Guard Financial. As a result, the full worth of the sale to Clal Insurance is $269 million. Even so, it’s noted that the $221 million purchase price is merely the company’s book value and not in the range of what Clal Insurance had hoped to get for Guard Financial. Just a year ago Employers Holdings Inc had offered Clal Insurance $312 million for Guard Financial. That offer wasn’t accepted, but Clal Insurance had still hoped for a final purchase price somewhere between $250 million and $315 million.

Buffett, The Beatles, And Success In Investing (Fool)
The question is asked again and again: just what is it about Warren Buffett that makes him such a great investor? The question is asked so frequently, in the end one gets rather blasé about it. But, having recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, I now see Buffett’s success in a rather different light. People talk about Buffett being a genius. They talk about him being one in a billion, never to be repeated: someone who was far, far out of reach from mere mortals like you and me. I beg to differ.

Why Did Warren Buffett Sell Johnson & Johnson? (SeekingAlpha)
Warren Buffett made lots of headlines when it was disclosed that he had made substantial liquidations of several long-term stock holdings. He exited approximately two-thirds of his Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) position as well as substantial positions in Proctor & Gamble Company (PG) and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT). His sale of JNJ was foreshadowed by comments made earlier this year. JNJ is a popular dividend stock that I’ve written about in several previous articles. With a recent closing price of $67.80 per share it has an estimated forward dividend yield of 3.7% based on a forward dividend of $2.48.

Review: ‘Einstein of Money’ details life of Buffett’s mentor (USAToday)
Benjamin Graham— the financial wiz who taught Warren Buffet to invest — was not unduly interested in money himself. Graham was a true intellectual — excited by math, languages and classic texts. And women. Although he was so honest that he repaid all his investors for their losses during the Great Depression, Graham was a thrice-married philanderer and an absentee dad.

Why DIRECTV is Attracting a Who’s Who of Investment Managers (YCharts)
A bunch of famous value investors took a shine to DIRECTV Group (DTV) earlier this year, and already, they’re making us jealous. Apparently, when Warren Buffett, Chuck Akre and Barry Rosenstein target the same stock, one might want to consider joining in. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) has been buying big since the last quarter of 2011. Akre of Akre Capital Management suddenly made DIRECTV 3.6% of his fund last quarter. In May, Barry Rosenstein’s hedge fund Jana Partners LLC reported a new stake in DIRECTV as its third largest holding.

Factors behind Chick-fil-A flap (DenverPost)
It’s nothing new for an American CEO to wade into a political or social battle. Company leaders from Warren Buffett to Meg Whitman have spoken out on politically charged topics, but few have resulted in the firestorm created when Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy spoke out against same-sex marriage.

Shayne Heffernan Says It’s Time to Sell (LivetradingNews)
Economist Shayne Heffernan has identified the state of the European Economy, rising debt in the USA and a Global rise in unemployment as a reason to re-evaluate portfolio holdings and in many cases, it is time to sell. While many are trying to talk the market up, the reality is the economy has not seen improvement significant enough to reflect the growth seen on the US markets. As Warren Buffett has said, “be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

Comparing tax rates for Obama, Romney and you (FirstCoastNews)
Mitt Romney says he has not paid less than 13% of his income in federal taxes during the past 10 years. Thanks to exemptions, deductions, child tax credits and the like, many Americans pay less than that. But when payroll taxes are considered, most Americans pay substantially more than 13%. President Obama wants to establish a mandatory minimum 30% tax rate for millionaires – the so-called “Buffett tax,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has complained that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. In 2010, Buffett paid an effective tax rate of 11% on nearly $63 million in adjusted gross income.

Carlyle Group Exec Being Honored by 100WHF (HedgeFund)
David Rubenstein of private equity and hedge fund firm The Carlyle Group has been recognized by the organization 100 Women in Hedge Funds for his philanthropy. Rubenstein has made numerous contributions to charity over the years, and is a signatory to the Giving Pledge, an endeavor founded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates where the wealthy promise to donate at least half of their assets to charity. He also sits on the boards of several organizations including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Economic Club of Washington.