"I don't think there is any chance that Berkshire will pay a dividend while Buffett is running Berkshire and I am happy with that," Tilson of Kase Capital says.
The prospect of a Berkshire dividend and CEO transition will have an impact on markets given Buffett's influence as an acquirer of companies and a willing investor of billions in emergency capital in the likes of Goldman Sachs (GS), General Electric (GE) and Bank of America (BAC).
"They will have a practice of dispersing cash more regularly," Russo says of his expectations when a management transition occurs. He suspects a dividend will be about helping to transition Warren Buffett's fortune to philanthropic commitments such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."We think it is a very strong company from a credit perspective and it is going to remain a strong company through a management transition," Bruce Ballentine, a Vice President in Moody's Insurance team, said in an April interview. "We assume the company will manage share repurchases or any future dividends to protect its credit profile." While Kass's presence as a Berkshire short-seller and Warren Buffett's advancing age could elevate some anxieties of shareholders, ultimately, the meeting is most likely to remain a celebration. That's especially true given Berkshire's unique position to benefit from a strengthening economic recovery in the U.S. and internationally. "Berkshire annual meeting or Kentucky Derby Day... For me, Berkshire by 10 lengths," Mario Gabelli, head of GAMCO Investors, wrote on Twitter. Buffett also has the ability to integrate social media with this year's annual meeting, after the 'Oracle' joined Twitter on Thursday. -- Written by Antoine Gara in New York. Follow @antoinegara
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