The beginning of a new year seems to be a popular time to check in on Warren Buffett for some reason, perhaps because a lot of people’s New Year’s resolution is “invest more like Warren Buffett”? Sure, why not. So how’s he doing?
Warren Buffett’s bet on Bank of America Corp. and a more-generous buyback plan helped his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. beat the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in a year when he didn’t make a major acquisition.
Class A shares advanced 17 percent last year, beating the 13 percent gain in the S&P 500. … Book value may have climbed to $113,579 a share on Dec. 31, according to an estimate from Meyer Shields, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. That would give Buffett’s firm a 7.8 percent annual growth rate for the five years ended 2012, compared with 1.7 percent for the S&P 500, including dividends.
Yay. It’s worth noting that his buyback was controversial when it was announced like three weeks ago, but the stock is up by 6.5% since then, yielding Buffett a three-week $80 million profit.
Buffett has also made untold gazillions of dollars on his investment in Bank of America preferred and warrants in 2011. I feel like this passage, from today’s “Heard on the Street” column dithering about whether BofA should buy back the preferred stock, provides some clue as to why: Read more »