Berkshire Hathaway

Topics: Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates Pages: 14 (3591 words) Published: November 2, 2008
Berkshire Hathaway
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Berkshire Hathaway Inc.


Founded1839 (as Valley Falls Company)
Warren Buffett

Headquarters Omaha, Nebraska

Area servedUSA

Key peopleWarren E. Buffett (Chairman) & (CEO)
Charles T. Munger (Vice Chairman)

Property and casualty insurance, Diversified investments

Conglomerate focused on insurance

Market cap
US$ 196 Billion (2008)

▲ US$ 118.245 Billion (2007)

Operating income
▲ US$ 20.161 Billion (2007)

Net income
▲ US$ 13.213 Billion (2007)

Total assets
▲ US$ 273.160 Billion (2007)

Total equity
▲ US$ 120.733 Billion (2007)

233,000 (mostly in subsidiaries) (2008)

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKA for supervoting shares and NYSE: BRKB for nonvoting shares) is a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. Berkshire Hathaway's core business is insurance, including property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and specialty nonstandard insurance. The Company averaged an annual return in excess of 21% to its shareholders for the last 42 years while employing large amounts of capital and minimal debt.[citation needed] Warren Buffett is the company's chairman and CEO. Buffett has used the "float" provided by Berkshire Hathaway's insurance operations (a policyholder's money which it holds temporarily until claims are paid out) to finance his investments. In the early part of his career at Berkshire, he focused on long-term investments in publicly quoted stocks, but more recently he has turned to buying whole companies. Berkshire now owns a diverse range of businesses including candy production; retail, home furnishings, encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, jewelry sales; newspaper publishing; manufacture and distribution of uniforms; manufacture, import and distribution of footwear; as well as several regional electric and gas utilities. Contents

1 History
2 Berkshire facts
3 Corporate governance
4 Financials
5 Holdings
o5.1 Insurance and finance subsidiaries
o5.2 Other subsidiaries
6 Berkshire Hathaway businesses
o6.1 Insurance and reinsurance businesses
o6.2 Non-insurance businesses
6.2.1 Apparel
6.2.2 Building products
6.2.3 Flight services
6.2.4 Retail businesses
6.2.5 Other non-insurance businesses
o6.3 Common stock holdings
o6.4 Companies with a "beneficial owner" relationship
7 Regulatory filings
8 External links
9 References

[edit] History
Berkshire Hathaway traces its roots to a textile manufacturing company established by Oliver Chace in 1839 as the Valley Falls Company in Valley Falls, Rhode Island. Chace had previously worked for Samuel Slater, the founder of the first successful textile mill in America. Chace founded his first textile mill in 1806. In 1929 the Valley Falls Company merged with the Berkshire Cotton Manufacturing Company established in 1889, in Adams, Massachusetts. The combined company was known as Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates.[1]

Hathaway Mills, New Bedford, Mass.
In 1955 Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates merged with the Hathaway Manufacturing Company which was founded in 1888 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by Horatio Hathaway. Hathaway was successful in its first decades, but it suffered during a general decline in the textile industry after World War I. At this time, Hathaway was run by Seabury Stanton, whose investment efforts were rewarded with renewed profitability after the Depression. After the merger, Berkshire Hathaway had 15 plants employing over 12,000 workers with over $120 million in revenue and was headquartered in New Bedford, Massachusetts. However, seven of those locations were closed by the end of the decade, accompanied by large layoffs. In 1962, Warren Buffett began...

References: 1. ^ Providence Journal Article July 10, 2006
2. ^ Associated Press
• Chairman 's Letter of 1990 Appendix B discusses Buffett 's hands-off management style.^
• Krantz, Matt (15 March 2005)
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