Thursday, January 21, 2010

Whoever said Warren is unwilling to tout his company or his company's stock?

Sort of reminds one doesn't it, of the frequent line of dialogue in the cowboys and indians movies of yesteryear, "White Man Speaks With Forked Tongue?"

Berkshire Surges After CEO Buffett Says Stock Is Undervalued
2010-01-21 15:26:45.401 GMT

By Andrew Frye

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. climbed to a 14-month high a day after the billionaire chief executive officer said the company’s stock is undervalued.

Berkshire Class A shares advanced $4,890, or 4.8 percent, to $109,180 at 10:01 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The company has surged 9.1 percent since the close of trading on Jan. 19, the biggest two-day gain since March.

“On a historical basis, Berkshire is selling quite low, relative to book value,” the measure of assets minus liabilities, Buffett said yesterday in an interview in Omaha, Nebraska, where the company is based.

Berkshire traded at about 1.23 times book value on Jan. 19, compared with the average of about 1.76 over the past 15 years.

Evaluating Berkshire by book value “makes a fair degree of sense,” Buffett said in the interview. Buffett spoke before a meeting in which shareholders authorized splitting the lower- priced Class B shares to facilitate Berkshire’s $26 billion purchase of railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
Editors: Erik Holm, Dan Kraut

To contact the reporter on this story:

Andrew Frye in New York at +1-212-617-1869 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Dan Kraut at +1-212-617-2432 or


1 comment:

  1. originally posted on:
    and printed in "Rolling Stone"

    The Climate Killers
    Meet the 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming.

    #1. The Profiteer
    Warren Buffett
    CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

    Despite being a key adviser to Obama during the financial crisis, America's best-known investor has been blasting the president's push to curb global warming — using the same lying points promoted by far-right Republicans. The climate bill passed by the House, Buffett insists, is a "huge tax — and there's no sense calling it anything else." What's more, he says, the measure would mean "very poor people are going to pay a lot more money for their electricity." Never mind that the climate bill, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would actually save Americans with the lowest incomes about $40 a year.

    But Buffett, whose investments have the power to move entire markets, is doing far more than bad-mouthing climate legislation — he's literally banking on its failure. In recent months, the Oracle of Omaha has invested billions in carbon-polluting industries, seeking to cash in as the world burns. His conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, has added 1.28 million shares of America's biggest climate polluter, ExxonMobil, to its balance sheet. And in November, Berkshire placed a huge wager on the future of coal pollution, purchasing the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad for $26 billion — the largest acquisition of Buffett's storied career. BNSF is the nation's top hauler of coal, shipping some 300 million tons a year. That's enough to light up 10 percent of the nation's homes — many of which are powered by another Berkshire subsidiary, MidAmerican Energy. Although Berkshire is the largest U.S. firm not to disclose its carbon pollution — and second globally only to the Bank of China — its utilities have the worst emissions intensity in America, belching more than 65 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2008 alone.

    As a savvy investor, Buffett would only buy a coal-shipping railroad if he felt certain that Congress will fail to crack down on climate pollution. "Whatever hurts coal also hurts the railroad business," observes Peter Gray, a corporate climate attorney at the international law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge. "Mr. Buffett must believe that efforts to adopt cap-and-trade legislation will fail."

    That's a strange position for the billionaire to take, given that he's promised to donate more than 80 percent of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "As someone who is giving so much money to international development, Buffett ought to know better," says Joe Romm, who served as an assistant energy secretary under Bill Clinton. "He ought to have spent a great deal of time considering the greatest threats to developing countries — which would have quickly educated him about climate change."