Warren Buffett's annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting: What to watch
Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting livestream starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday
Berkshire Hathaway will hold its annual shareholders meeting on Saturday.
Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, Vice Chairman Charlie Munger and other executives will address Berkshire shareholders and answer their questions virtually for the second year in a row because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means that the usual festivities that go along with the meeting – and the crowds of 40,000 or more – that have earned the event its nickname of "Woodstock for capitalists" have been canceled.
Instead, Buffett, Munger and Vice Chairs Ajit Jain and Greg Abel will appear via livestream on Yahoo Finance. Munger had missed last year’s meeting because of pandemic travel restrictions, but Buffett wrote in his annual letter earlier this year that he would travel to Los Angeles for the meeting broadcast with Munger, who lives in California.
The event is scheduled to begin with a pre-meeting show at 12:30 p.m. EDT followed by a Q&A from 1:30 to 5 p.m. and a formal shareholder meeting from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
Ahead of the meeting, Berkshire is set to release its first quarter earnings report Saturday morning.
|BRK.A||BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.||487,606.00||+3,606.00||+0.75%|
|BRK.B||BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.||320.77||+1.86||+0.58%|
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Last quarter, Buffett announced the company’s profits rose 23% thanks to stock market gains of its major holdings in businesses like Apple.
Analysts are reportedly expecting another positive quarter, and Berkshire Class A stock recently surged to a new high of more than $417,000 per share on Thursday. Berkshire’s soaring stock price has pushed Buffett’s personal fortune over $100 billion, the Associated Press reported.
Berkshire will announce how much of its stock it has bought back. Last year, the company made $24.7 billion in buybacks. And in his annual letter, Buffett wrote that Berkshire had continued repurchasing shares.
"The math of repurchases grinds away slowly, but can be powerful over time," he wrote.
Buffett will likely share some insight into the investment moves Berkshire has made in the past year. In his annual letter, he highlighted middle-America business success stories and advised investors to "never bet against America."
Berkshire became the largest shareholder in kidney-focused health care business DaVita and also upped its stakes in pharmaceutical companies like AbbieVie, Bristol Meyers Squibb and Merck, plus others like Barrick Gold, Chevron, Verizon and TV broadcaster E.W. Scripps since the last meeting.
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Meanwhile, Berkshire cut its stake in banks like JPMorgan Chase, PNC Financial Services and Wells Fargo.
Another big question looming for Berkshire is who will lead the company after Buffett, 90, and Munger, 97. Buffett has been addressing it since his 2020 letter to investors, when he promised the company is "100% prepared" for the executives’ eventual departure, but he still hasn’t named a successor.
Abel, who runs Berkshire’s non-insurance businesses, and Jain, who runs its insurance businesses, are two possibilities. Another potential pair are Ted Weschler and Todd Combs, investment managers running sizable portfolios for Berkshire who were reportedly responsible for its investment in Apple.
Berkshire shareholders are set to vote on a pair of proposals on climate change and diversity disclosures. Buffett has opposed both proposals, and shareholders are likely to vote down both proposals.
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FOX Business’ Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.