This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

When Buffett Retires, Berkshire Hathaway Should Comfort Shareholders

So, what could Buffett and Berkshire's board do to ease the pain of the CEO's eventual departure? How about announcing a plan to spinoff to shareholders parts of the publicly traded dynasty? Then by demonstrating the hidden value of those parts, Berkshire Hathaway could offer a reassuring consolation prize.

When one considers the vast diversity of the publicly traded U.S. stocks owned by the company as of the end of 2013, including 31% of the shares of USG Corporation (USG) shares and over $31 billion of Wells Fargo (WFC) stock, carving out a special distribution to its devoted shareholders shouldn't be difficult.

Then there are the privately held pieces like Geico, the second-largest car insurer in the U.S., and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway, which, according to Bloomberg, is responsible for nearly 21% of Berkshire's pre-tax earnings. Either would make a valuable spinoff.

Perhaps Buffett will take note of what Apple (AAPL) finally did to restore confidence in its stock and encourage shareholders in a big way. A Berkshire Hathaway stock split may be part of the answer as well as an increase in the company's stock buyback program.

Frankly, I don't anticipate that my suggestions will be implemented. I do think Buffett will share some of his thoughts about the future of Berkshire Hathaway in his upcoming letter to shareholders. For now I'm not buying the stock until a correction ensues and a meaningful succession plan is made public.

At the time of publication the author had a position in AAPL.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.


Marc Courtenay is the founder and owner of Advanced Investor Technologies, LLC, as well as the publisher and editor of
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
BRK.A $216,515.00 0.00%
BRK.B $144.24 0.00%
AAPL $94.19 0.00%
FB $118.06 0.00%
GOOG $695.70 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs