Buffett to face big crowd as Berkshire grows bigger

Owen Stevens
May 6, 2017

"I'm a broken record on this subject but since the fall of 2009, literally, it's been about 2% a year", Buffett said ahead Berkshire Hathaway's much anticipated annual shareholder's meeting Saturday. The news comes from CNBC, and manages to take many unawares. IBM shares have declined 21 percent over the past five years, severely lagging the broader Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500.

Since the end of the first quarter of 2011, when Berkshire first bought a stake in IBM, shares of the company have dipped about 4.9%.

Buffett had owned 81 million shares, and sold 24 million shares or so, he told Quick, most of it in the first quarter, and some in Q2. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. With his initial interest, Buffett was betting on IBM's expertise in information technology services to drive growth in emerging markets. IBM's legacy businesses have been shrinking, but it has built new revenue streams in areas such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

"I don't value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying.I've revalued it somewhat downward", he said. Buffett, 86, and Vice Chairman Charles Munger, who regularly field questions from shareholders at the event, can expect to be quizzed about IBM - as they have been in the past.

Separately, Buffett also revealed Thursday that he had sold off a third of his stake in IBM (ibm).

Buffett may need to review Berkshire's support of Wells Fargo Co, in which it holds a roughly 10 per cent stake, despite a sales scandal over bogus customer accounts. Bezos was less than $3 billion behind Buffett.

Buffett may also get questions about his surprise bets on Apple Inc and the four biggest USA airlines. Evercore ISI reiterated an underweight rating on shares of Berkshire Hathaway in a research report on Monday, February 27th.

Other reports by VgToday

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