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Warren Buffett Shares Optimistic Message at Annual Shareholder Meeting

May 05, 2008 09:45 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The billionaire told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that he still sees investment opportunies in U.S. stock and bond markets, and that he believes the credit crunch is nearing an end.

30-Second Summary

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Despite his general optimism, Buffett was honest with the crowd of 31,000, telling them that, although investment opportunities do exist, his $200 billion holding company, Berkshire Hathway Inc., may not be one of them.

"Anyone who expects us to come close to replicating the past should sell their stock. It's not gonna happen," he said. "You may have something better to do with your money than buy Berkshire."

Regarding buying opportunities, Buffett said Berkshire is "happy to" invest in companies that earn money in the euro, in Germany and in the U.K., because he doesn't "have a feeling that those currencies are going to depreciate in a big way against the dollar."

Buffett hinted Sunday that Berkshire is close to buying a midsize U.K. company, but did not provide details.

As usual, there was much anticipation prior to the annual meeting, which has become known as "Woodstock for Capitalists."

Shareholders had plenty to look forward to at this year's event. Berkshire Hathaway did well in 2007, boosting profit 20 percent to $13.2 billion, and revenue to $118.2 billion, despite some of its more than 70 businesses taking a hit from the housing slump. Berkshire shares rose 29 percent.

Buffett's highly anticipated and characteristically candid annual letter to shareholders was published in February. It reported that Berkshire's net worth was $12.3 billion in 2007.

Headline Link: Buffett speaks to crowd of 31,000

Background: The meeting, Buffett's annual shareholders letter and his donations to charity

Opinion: 'Buffett-isms'

Related Topic: Recession ... or not?

Reference: Letters from years past

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