Berkshire After Buffett

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Apr 302015

I am quoted in this Wall Street Journal article (April 30, 2015) on Berkshire after Buffett:

Shareholders also say it is reassuring that some younger Berkshire executives are taking on additional responsibilities on Mr. Buffett’s watch. David Kass, a Berkshire shareholder and professor of finance at the University of Maryland, saidTed Weschler and Todd Combs, the two stock pickers Mr. Buffett hired a few years ago as part of his succession plan, have performed well for most of their time at Berkshire. The two also “have negotiated on behalf of Berkshire a lot of tax-advantaged transactions, and they are on the same page as Buffett,” he said. Mr. Combs, for instance, handled the complex deal last year involving the swapping of Procter & Gamble Co. shares owned by Berkshire for battery maker Duracell.

The entire article is available at:

 Posted by at 4:05 pm

Warren Buffett and Dividends

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Apr 202015

I am quoted in a Chicago Tribune (Kiplinger’s) article today on Warren Buffett and dividends:

This year’s annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders on May 2 promises to be extra special as Berkshire celebrates its 50th anniversary. CEO Warren Buffett, who is 84 years old, and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, 91, are likely to address what’s ahead for the company.

One question that could come up is whether Berkshire will ever pay a dividend. And Buffett’s answer is likely to be, “Not while I’m CEO,” says David Kass, a finance professor at the University of Maryland who follows Buffett closely. “Buffett likes receiving dividends, not paying them,” he says. However, Buffett recently hinted that Berkshire could start paying dividends in 10 to 20 years, when, presumably, he will no longer be calling the shots.”

The entire article is available at:–tms–kplngmpctnkm-a20150420-20150420-story.html

This article is based on an earlier Kiplinger’s article (March 2, 2015):

“When it comes to dividends, Warren Buffett is happy to collect them but not to pay them. His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (symbol BRK-B), has never paid out any of its profits to shareholders. But when the Oracle of Omaha looks for companies to invest in, he often focuses on businesses that repurchase shares or issue dividends, or both. “Buffett likes companies that return cash to shareholders,” says David Kass, a finance professor at the University of Maryland who owns Berkshire shares and follows Buffett’s moves closely.”

This article is available at:

 Posted by at 11:30 am
Apr 072015

Berkshire Hathaway is investing $560 million to acquire 20 million shares of Axalta Coating Systems Ltd (AXTA) at $28.00 per share for an 8.7% stake from controlling shareholder Carlyle Group which currently owns 74% of the company.

Berkshire owns Lubrizol, the maker of lubricants and Benjamin Moore, which sells paint for use in buildings. Axalta’s paints and coatings are used for vehicles and pipelines, with automobile repair shops being its primary customers.

Carlyle bought AXTA from DuPont (DD) in 2013 in a $4.9 billion deal and took the company public in November, 2014 in a $1 billion offering that was priced at $19.50 a share.

 Posted by at 8:19 am