Cox: Trump’s taxes underscore bizarre campaign

By Rob Cox
August 2, 2016

The GOP candidate is being goaded reality-TV style by Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban to disclose his IRS returns. At stake isn't just whether he paid enough as with Mitt Romney. Rather, Trump's billionaire bona fides are in question despite an election pegged on income inequality.

The Exchange podcast: Rise of shareholder activism

March 10, 2016

Hedge fund manager Jeff Gramm pops over to Times Square to discuss his new book, "Dear Chairman," which chronicles eight decades of pushy investing from Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett to Carl Icahn and Dan Loeb, and what this history means for markets now and in the future.

Buffett fancies himself exception to every rule

February 29, 2016

The latest missive from Omaha hews to a familiar Oracle tradition. Asset-liability mismatches and unofficial accounting metrics get both mocked and embraced, just like investment bankers, derivatives and tech stocks before them. Homespun wisdom is for lesser investing mortals.

Buffett’s $37 bln Castparts deal lacks precision

August 10, 2015

The Oracle’s Berkshire Hathaway is paying 19 times earnings for aircraft components maker Precision Castparts. The acquisition fits Buffett’s mold, but also coincides with cyclical highs in plane orders, stock valuations and M&A. Even for a long-term investor, the timing is odd.

Buffett makes golden case for Teflon force field

May 4, 2015

At a 50th anniversary Woodstock for Capitalism celebration, the Oracle of Omaha easily parried queries and concerns about Coke, IBM, NetJets and more. While Berkshire Hathaway will one day miss Buffett’s investing nous, his human shield powers may be his most undervalued quality.

Agnellis pay up to claim mini-Buffett status

April 15, 2015

Exor, the Italian family’s holding company, is offering a premium to buy PartnerRe out of a merger with fellow reinsurer Axis. The price is full and the bid lacks its rival’s synergies. But debt is cheap, and Berkshire Hathaway-style cash flow could fund further acquisitions.

Rob Cox: Eat or be eaten is real Kraft calculus

By Rob Cox
March 31, 2015

It had a chance to buy Heinz two years ago. Instead of securing more of the combined value for itself, it’s now ceding control and renting its balance sheet. While selling to Warren Buffett gives the board cover, it raises questions about the sort of managers shareholders want.

Buffett-3G juggernaut can keep on truckin’

March 26, 2015

Kraft Heinz is the third time the Sage of Omaha and the trio behind AB InBev have joined forces, after swoops on the ketchup maker and Tim Hortons. The partners’ patience, financial firepower and industry experience give them big advantages. Bigger deals may lie down the road.

Kraft investors bet Heinz can refill secret sauce

March 25, 2015

The Velveeta cheese maker’s stock jumped a third – making the company worth nearly $50 bln – on news of its sale to the ketchup giant, which 3G Capital and Warren Buffett took private in 2013. The math works if Heinz can repeat its margin magic and leap hurdles to scaling Kraft.

Buffett’s $4.7 bln Duracell deal a double positive

November 13, 2014

Berkshire Hathaway is trading its Procter & Gamble stake for the consumer stalwart’s battery unit. Swapping a reliable staple for a declining business looks odd. But it’s tax-efficient and P&G’s injecting $1.8 bln of cash. Even with that, the seller’s getting a decent price.