Warren Buffett’s Letter to Shareholders and Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Report was released this morning at 8:00 a.m. ET.
Five highlights were:
(1) Berkshire Hathaway’s 2018 operating earnings rose by 71% vs. 2017.
(2) Berkshire Hathaway’s shares outperformed the S&P 500 (with dividends included) by 7.2% in 2018 and by 21% over the past 5 years.
(3) Berkshire repurchased only $400 million of its shares during the fourth quarter of 2018 vs. $928 million during the third quarter.
(4) Berkshire’s cash position increased to a record $112 billion at year end 2018.
(5) Buffett states that Berkshire is far more likely to invest in the public market (minority stakes in companies) than in the over-priced private market (acquire entire companies).