Warren Buffett: A Media & Watcher’s 360 Review Into Annual Meeting (BRK.A, BRK.B, C, WWY)

May 2, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Everyone loves covering Warren Buffett, rain or shine.  His long-term shareholders love him, the media follows his every move, and everyone on Wall Street either cares about his potential next buyout or cares about the stock positions he discloses in his latest filings.  This weekend is the Annual Meeting for Berskshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE: BRK.B), so you can just about count on steady weekend coverage too.

There are two important coverage pieces that Buffett fans and financial viewers will want to see today and this weekend.  CNBC has been airing bits of a Becky Quick interview with Warren Buffett on and off today from Omaha ahead of the meeting.  This weekend and on Monday, Fox Business will also be showing some interviews of their own and a live weekend blogging from Liz Claman there in Omaha as well.  But one interview is going to stand out sharply today that is different than others, as Fox Business gets a chance to interview John Freund from Citigroup (NYSE: C) around 3:00 PM EST (media times always subject to change).  This is said to "Buffett’s stock broker."  You can bet money he won’t be giving up any of the Oracle of Omaha’s secrets, but this may be a real first as far as a close Buffett industry source.

This annual meeting We are probably not that far away from seeing the latest round of Berkshire Hathaway’s quarter-end holdings, but here were his last holdings broken down in alphabetical order in 3 groups:

The current climate is actually more of the sort of market that Buffett can thrive in since his buyouts time frame deals with a projected hold time of FOREVER.  He’s plunked down $11 Billion over the last couple months between Marmon Holdings and on his share of the Wm Wrigley Jr Co. (NYSE: WWY).  Earlier this week, Warren Buffett already noted "We are in a recession", noting the difference from the man in the streets versus what the National Bureau of Economic Research gets around to saying.

The real question people may be asking for this weekend is "Will Warren announce a successor?"  While we hope so, we doubt it.  This may stay just as "the four replacements" (three of whom are internal).

Lastly, Mr. Buffett will be heading to Europe mid-month to go tour closely-held companies that can be rolled up or where opportunities are.  He never did do his true "Whale of a deal," but that doesn’t mean it’s ever entirely off the table.

Jon C. Ogg
May 2, 2008