Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was cut to “sell” by Stifel Nicolaus & Co. on the prospect a slowing economic recovery may pressure revenue at operating units and weigh on equity holdings.From The Rational Walk:
Berkshire, with subsidiaries including sellers of bricks, electric power and auto insurance, faces a “blah-shaped recovery,” analysts led by Meyer Shields wrote today in a research note. Shields, who previously rated Omaha, Nebraska- based Berkshire a “hold,” cut his estimate for 2010 earnings to $5,685 from $5,764 per share.
“Declining consumer confidence will slow consumer spending, as employment very slowly recovers,” the analysts said. “Our weak macroeconomic outlook implies poor second-half 2010 earnings.”
Buffett, the 79-year-old chairman of Berkshire, executed takeovers and stock picks to transform his firm over four decades from a failing textile mill into a company with a market value of almost $200 billion. Berkshire owns businesses including railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe and auto insurer Geico Corp. and has stakes in firms including credit-card lender American Express Co.
Berkshire’s Class A shares fell $761, or 0.6 percent, to $119,128, at 9:33 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The company has advanced 20 percent this year, compared with the 4.3 percent slide in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index....MORE
In an interview today with Yahoo News and The Huffington Post, Warren Buffett reiterates his belief that the United States economy is emerging from recession and is unlikely to suffer a near term relapse. Mr. Buffett, interviewed from Sun Valley where he is attending the annual Allen & Co. conference, has been making increasingly bullish statements regarding the economic outlook in recent months....MORE