Berkshire has focused on growing the 90-odd businesses the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate already owns and repurchasing its own shares — something Buffett has invested $51.7 billion in over the last two years including $27 billion last year.
Buffett’s letter is always well read in the business world because of his remarkably successful track record, but he kept his message focused on Berkshire’s businesses and didn’t mention politics or say much about the broader economy.
He also didn’t offer any new details about Berkshire’s succession planning in his first letter since saying last spring that Berkshire Vice Chairman Greg Abel will one day replace him as CEO, although the 91-year-old Buffett has no plans to retire. Buffett only confirmed that plan after his business partner, Charlie Munger, slipped up and hinted at it during last year’s annual meeting.
“I felt like there was an opportunity here for Buffett to do something more formal and make comments about Abel’s qualifications or why shareholders and investors should trust he was the right candidate. There could have been more commentary around that,” Edward Jones analyst Jim Shanahan said.