Published: Sun, May 05, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Amazon Got a Place in Berkshire Hathaway's Portfolio

Amazon Got a Place in Berkshire Hathaway's Portfolio

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett called himself an "idiot" for not buying stock in Amazon, but said someone at his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is making up for his lack of foresight.

The US investment guru said he would like his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, to be better known across the Atlantic.

Thousands of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders return to Omaha every year to learn from Warren Buffett and celebrate the company he built through acquisitions and investments.

Meyer Shields, of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, is among the critics of Berkshire's disclosures, saying in an April 28 report they leave investors "disproportionately reliant" on Buffett's public persona and past investment successes rather than actual knowledge about the company. Profit and revenue for many smaller units are not disclosed at all.

"I was too dumb to realise what would happen", Buffett said in 2017, in reference to the rise of Amazon's cloud computing business.

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Buffett, who became famous in 1991 for criticizing Salomon Inc's practices and becoming interim chairman to right the mess, also faced a question about his relative silence about Wells Fargo, where Berkshire owns a almost 10-percent stake.

Without answering directly, Buffett said Gregory Able, 57, and Ajit Jain, 67 - both promoted a year ago to the board of directors - would in the near future join him and long-time business partner Charlie Munger, 95, on the stage to answer shareholder questions. Oracle (ORCL) closed with a gain despite Berkshire Hathaway exiting the stock within a quarter of buying it. Approaching $1 trillion valuation once more, Apple stock is up more than 32% this year. Buffett, 88, was pressed by questions - each greeted with a torrent of applause - about who would succeed him.

Berkshire owns more than 90 companies. "He and Charlie are certainly open that they missed it on several great businesses for many years".

The shareholder events run through the weekend.

Daphne Kalir-Starr, 9, a fourth-grader from New York City, lined up with her father at 11 p.m. on Friday night, along with her sleeping bag. "We have a group of about 25 that comes here", Per Borjesson of Sweden said. "He is the ultimate guru", she said.

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