(BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett gave no new hints about the company's succession plan during its annual shareholder meeting on Saturday.
Twice during the entertaining event, the 82-year old billionaire evaded direct questions seeking he announce a successor.
When asked by a shareholder about announcing a successor, Buffett did not disclose the name of
(BRK.A) next CEO and, instead, reiterated comments that the company's board of directors has already been informed of a replacement.
Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting: Blog Recap
"It will be the same thing and you can count on that," Buffett said of Berkshire's culture after he leaves.
Other hot topics at the conglomerate's packed shareholder meeting included acquisitions, the global economy, the state of the banking industry and Federal Reserve policies.
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Buffett and Berkshire vice chairman Charles Munger provided plenty of colorful moments, including
on the state of the U.S. banking industry.
They both also gave only muted signs of excitement for Berkshire's push into international markets such as Europe and Asia.
"If you told us that we could only invest in the United States the rest of our lives, we would not view that as a huge hardship," Buffett said.
Buffett's Cherry Coke Walk & Talk
On Friday, Berkshire
beat earnings expectations
on strong performance from operating units such as
"It was a benign quarter in insurance, but our other businesses did quite well," Buffett said of Berkshire's earnings at the shareholder meeting. "We have been very lucky that a lot of oil has been found close to our railroad tracks," he added, of BNSF earnings.
Buffett did a strong job portraying the performance of Berkshire's operating subsidiaries, for instance,
, according to William Smead, chief investment officer of
At the meeting, Buffett and Munger appeared hesitant to project Berkshire's earnings in a faster growing economy said Smead. "I was surprised by the lack of the probabilities they laid out for an improving economy," he said.
Buffett also picked
Real Money Pro
contributor Doug Kass to make the case for
shorting shares of Berkshire Hathaway
Kass pressed Buffett on issues such as succession, the ability to grow a company as big as Berkshire, and the firm's ability to quickly cut profitable deals with firms in need of capital.
"Doug Kass provided a little spice. Although being the devils advocate in that situation, it was an impossible role," Smead said. Kass "raised some interesting points and drew some good responses," he added.