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TheStreet Open House

Judge Dismisses Berkshire Shareholder Suit: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet Tuesday include Warren Buffett after a judge dismissed a shareholder lawsuit against the billionaire investor and directors of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A).

Shareholders alleged in the suit that Buffett and the directors failed to take appropriate action in response to former executive David Sokol's stock trades. Sokol allegedly profited from trades that violated Berkshire's insider trading policy. Sokol resigned last year upon revealing he bought 96,000 shares of Lubrizol before urging Buffett, CEO of Berkshire, to acquire the company.

Delaware Chancery Court judge Travis Laster ruled that shareholders didn't prove their case that the board could not be trusted to pursue Sokol, a matter shareholders hoped to pursue on behalf of the company as a derivative lawsuit. The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, leaving the door open for shareholders to file an amended lawsuit.






Commodities is another popular topic as an executive at BHP Billiton (BHP) warned that demand for iron ore from China will flatten as the country's economy cools.

Ian Ashby, president of BHP's iron ore division, said that China's demand for iron ore will slow to single-digit growth. The country will still see annual steel output rise by some 60% by 2025, according to Ashby, as iron ore is a key ingredient in steel-making.

Chinese demand for iron ore has driven expansion work by the world's biggest miners for years. China cut its 2012 growth target to 7.5% earlier this month, an eight-year low, warning about demand for natural resources.






Walt Disney (DIS) is trending as the company announced it expects to book a loss of $200 million in the quarter through March on its latest movie, John Carter.

Disney said the loss on the movie will result in its studio losing $80 million to $120 million for the quarter. The 3-D movie about a Civil War veteran who is transplanted to Mars cost $350 million to make. The company attributed the larger-than-expected loss to poor global reception of the film.

Disney said the movie brought in about $184 million in ticket sales worldwide, though that figure is roughly split with theater owners. Analysts had reportedly been expecting a write-down of $100 million to $165 million.

Disney has other big-budget movies in the pipeline this year, including The Avengers and Pixar's Brave.






The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.

Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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