Warren Buffett News: Warren Buffett Reloads The Elephant Gun

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYWarren Buffett reloads the elephant gun (TheAge)
Warren Buffett may well be loading Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BRK-A, BRK-B) “elephant gun”. The company reported recently that it was a net seller of shares during its second quarter, and that its cash hoard had topped $US40 billion ($38 billion). Buffett has long said he would make sure Berkshire had a ‘‘Fort Knox’’ balance sheet, by keeping a cash buffer of $US20 billion for unexpected insurance claims, but the company has found itself with twice that much cash.

Warren Buffett increases stake in Lee Enterprises (CumberLink)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has nearly doubled its stake in newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises, the parent company of The Sentinel. Lee’s shares jumped nearly 20 percent on the news Wednesday, closing at $1.59, up 26 cents. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that its stake in Lee Enterprises has grown to 3.23 million shares, about 6 percent of shares outstanding. In June, Berkshire’s ownership stake in Lee totaled 1.7 million shares, according to regulatory filings.

How Would Warren Buffett Feel About Paying A Billion Per Year ? (Forbes)
Almost exactly a year ago, I, along with the rest of the tax blogosphere, was writing about Warren Buffett complaining that he wasn’t paying enough taxes. He had paid about seven million. With his current net worth at 44 billion, Mr. Buffett would get change back from a billion under the plan, but he would still be paying quite a bit more than 7 million, actually more than seven hundred million. Mr. Devany told me about his 2-4-8 plan in a comment on another post. I challenged him to make a case that a wealth tax (that is the “2?) is actually feasible. Why don’t you be the judge ? Be wary though. People who make intelligent comments on this blog frequently end up being trapped into guest posting.

No Buffett? No problem for Intel (MSN)
Instant credibility is what is earned by any company when arguably the best investor in the world, Warren Buffett, owns the stock. In fact, it’s one of the highest endorsements any publicly traded company can get. Then what does it say when Buffett dumps the stock? This is what investors of chip giant Intel (INTC -0.98%) are left to assess upon learning Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A +0.96%), has dropped all its 7.7 million shares of the semiconductor company.

Warren Buffett’s Best Dividend Stock Buys As Of Q2/2012 (Trefis)
Warren Buffett – Berkshire Hathaway Q2/2012 Fund Investing Strategies By Dividend Yield – Stock Capital, Investment. Here is a current portfolio update of Warren Buffett’s – Berkshire Hathaway – portfolio movements as of Q2/2012 (June 30, 2012). In total, he has 37 stocks with atotal portfolio worth of USD 74,321,382,000. Buffett bought two new companies and added eight additional stocks. The biggest influence had Philips 66 (PSX) with a change to his portfolio of 1.21 percent. …Wells Fargo (WFC) has a market capitalization of $180.28 billion. The company employs 264,400 people, generates revenue of $49,412.00 million and has a net income of $16,211.00 million. The firm’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $31,310.00 million. The EBITDA margin is 63.37 percent (operating margin 29.22 percent and net profit margin 20.03 percent).

Buffett Is Right About These 2 Oil Refiners (SeekingAlpha)
Recent reports are that Warren Buffett flushed 7.7 million shares of Intel (INTC). Buffett also made new acquisitions in the refining industry. I suggested the possibility of Buffett acquiring a stake in Valero Energy (VLO) back in December 2011. When Buffett makes a move into a new equity, it’s worth a look. Below I will examine upstream oil giants Exxon Mobil (XOM) and ConocoPhillips (COP), and downstream players Phillips 66 (PSX) and Valero Energy. I will look at the reasons Buffett has taken an interest in the refining industry.

Beaten up BNY Mellon attracts Warren Buffett, Mason Hawkins and Don Yacktman (EconomicTimes)
Some well-known value investors have taken a shine to Bank of New York Mellon Corp, the world’s largest custody bank, whose stock price remains below levels seen before the financial crisis imploded in 2008. Mason Hawkins’ Southeastern Asset Management and Don Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management have joined Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc in building up positions in BNY Mellon in the second quarter, according to recent securities filings.

Is Warren Buffett Betting On A Foreign-Backed Housing Recovery? (Forbes)
This is a guest post written by Leonid Levit and Derek Cheung of Honne Capital, a New York-based hedge fund focused on long/short equity strategies. Warren Buffett has recently been commenting that he is watching the housing market very closely and if it were feasible he would probably love to buy billions of dollars worth of real estate. Unfortunately that’s not practical for the Oracle of Omaha so he has instead settled for purchasing larger stakes in companies with exposure to the sector, like Wells Fargo and US Bancorp. Warren Buffet seems to be betting on a housing rebound again, but is he timing it right this time?

How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half (NBCDFW)
Grocery prices are shooting up, but the “Warren Buffett of coupons” says there are ways to slash what you pay at the checkout counter. Teri Gault, the founder and CEO of The Grocery Game, a members-only website that claims to save a family of four more than $500 per month, says savings start with sales.

Bet With Buffett: Three Commodity Picks (Minyanville)
Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, is one of the most famous investors in the world. So when he makes a big bet, there are plenty of individuals who are willing to follow, or who are at least curious as to whether or not they should do the same. Buffett’s latest bet was placed in the US housing industry, a market segment that has been rattled since 2007 and is still struggling to find a foothold. The famed businessman justified his bet by stating that he has watched every asset class besides housing for the last two years and now that markets have flattened, he sees housing with room to run. Investors wishing to hop in on Buffett’s bet should take it with a grain of salt, as Robert Schiller, the expert who called the housing bubble and likewise has a housing index named after him, is not so sure of housing.

RICH PICKINGS: Getting a glimpse of Wall Street’s whales (BusinessSpectator)
It’s Wall Street’s version of whale watching. One of the great traditions of the US investment scene is the release of the 13F filings. Under US law, every investment fund with more than $100 million must release the details of the portfolio within 45 days of the end of each quarter. Naturally, this select group – which includes Warren Buffett, George Soros, John Paulson, Carl Ichan and David Einhorn – releases their filings on the last day possible and generally all at the same time. No doubt they have a bit of a laugh at the way the market madly rushes to figure out which holdings they have increased, which they’ve dumped and which they’ve added.

Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe Sells $1.25 Billion Bonds (BusinessWeek)
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the railroad that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A) bought in 2010, sold $1.25 billion in bonds for general corporate purposes. Burlington Northern issued $600 million in 3.05 percent, 10-year securities to yield 125 basis points more than similar- maturity Treasuries and $650 million of 4.375 percent, 30-year bonds at 150 basis points more than benchmarks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bonds may be rated A3 by Moody’s Investors Service, its fourth-lowest investment grade and BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s, one level lower, Bloomberg data show.

Is PennyMac The Future Of mREITs? (SeekingAlpha)
If you want to see what a Warren Buffett-style mortgage real estate investment trust (mREIT) might look like, look no further than PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT). PennyMac is a mortgage company, a mortgage processor, and a packager of mortgage-backed securities rolled into one. Unlike traditional mREITs such as Annaly Capital Management (NLY) and Two Harbors Investment (TWO), PennyMac sells mortgages directly to customers in addition to packaging them into securities. PennyMac’s business model is to do it all: take the application, vet the customer, write up the mortgage, underwrite it, and then package it as a mortgage security.

Welcome to the Warren Buffett school of pricing (SmartCompany)
My last column, Are you Pricing Like Dennis Denuto?, seems to have resonated with many readers of LeadingCompany, if the emails I received are anything to go by. As an interesting juxtaposition, I thought I’d take a look this week at five of my favourite and most powerful pricing quotes. Three of them come from the same person. “There is no bank in the world that accepts a deposit of market share”

What Warren Buffett Can Teach Us About Personal Finances (HuffingtonPost)
Warren Buffet is one of the world’s wealthiest men, but spends like a struggling middle class professional. Although we can’t all be worth billions, we can all learn from his example of spending less than he earns. So here’s the thing about Warren Buffet. He’s worth about $45 billion, but he came from a regular working class family and those values are part of what has made him one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. In his biography, The Snowball, readers learn some of the rules he follows to this day that can teach everybody a thing or two about personal finances.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cuts J&J holdings by 64 percent (Philly)
Led by billionaire and financial icon Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday that it sold almost two thirds of its stock in health-care giant Johnson & Johnson during the second quarter, which ended June 30. The sales cut Berkshire’s J&J holdings from just over 29 million shares to 10.3 million. J&J and several divisions have struggled to deal with manufacturing problems and allegations of illegal marketing.

Charles Munger Jr. gives $635,035 to Proposition 32 campaign (SacBee)
Palo Alto physicist and frequent GOP political donor Charles Munger Jr. has contributed another $635,035 this week to back a campaign finance reform measure, according to recently filed state records. It’s his second six-figure donation to the Proposition 32 campaign in three months. Munger, whose namesake father has made billions of dollars as an investment partner of Warren Buffett, has backed a number of Republican candidates and causes, including California’s successful redistricting reform initiatiative, Proposition 20.