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  1. #1
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    [EN] Warren Buffett sells off a third of his stake in IBM

    Buffett has sold IBM shares, and 'revalued' tech icon downward, cites 'big strong competitors'


    Becky Quick
    4 Hours Ago

    IBM has lost the confidence of one of its biggest investors, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.

    Buffett, who owned about 81 million shares of IBM at the end of 2016, sold off about a third of that stake in the first and second quarters of 2017, he told CNBC.

    "I don't value IBM the same way that I did 6 years ago when I started buying... I've revalued it somewhat downward," Buffett told CNBC. "When it got above $180 we actually sold a reasonable amount of stock."

    Buffett said IBM hadn't performed the way he had expected -- or the way IBM's management had expected -- when he first started buying the shares six years ago.

    "I think if you look back at what they were projecting and how they thought the business would develop I would say what they've run into is some pretty tough competitors," Buffett said. "IBM is a big strong company, but they've got big strong competitors too."

    Berkshire Hathaway still owns more than 50 million shares of IBM and with shares now trading below $160, Buffett says he has stopped selling.

    video: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/04/warre...mpetitors.html

  2. #2
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    Bill Gates warned Buffett he'd be wrong on IBM

    Gates and Stanley Druckenmiller previously said they disagreed with Warren Buffett's IBM investment.

    Buffett told CNBC he was "wrong" on IBM and "revalued it somewhat downward."

    IBM shares significantly underperformed the S&P 500 since 2011.

    Tae Kim
    29 Mins Ago

    Billionaire peers Bill Gates and Stanley Druckenmiller both warned Warren Buffett in 2015 he would be wrong on IBM. They were right.

    The Oracle of Omaha told CNBC's Becky Quick he sold about 30 percent of his stake in IBM during the first and second quarters of this year. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway was IBM's largest shareholder at the end of 2016 with an 8.6 percent stake in the firm, according to FactSet.

    "I was wrong … IBM is a big strong company, but they've got big strong competitors too," Buffett told CNBC. "I don't value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying ... I've revalued it somewhat downward."

    IBM significantly underperformed the market during the last six years. The technology firm's shares are up 8 percent from the beginning of 2011 through Thursday versus the S&P 500's 90 percent return.

    One of Buffett's closest friends, Bill Gates, predicted IBM's troubles in May 2015 during an interview with the Financial Times:

    "IBM became less of a technology company. It's really sad. It turns out, at least so far, Warren was wrong. Even with the enterprise customers, the cloud has not been saleable for them. I'm biased. IBM is a wonderful company but because I competed with them for many, many decades I have to say, I don't see their future as brightly as people who are long on the stock."

    In similar fashion, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller revealed in Nov. 2015 he was short IBM because of cloud computing's competitive threat to the firm.

    "I love Amazon because they invest in their future. Bezos is a serial monopolist. AWS (Amazon Web Services) is absolutely exploding. It's ripping to shreds the 10 or 15 consultants you used to have from IBM that you don't need because of the cloud," Druckenmiller said.

    Druckenmiller is chief executive officer of the Duquesne Family Office and the former lead portfolio manager for George Soros. The billionaire's hedge fund generated annualized returns of 30 percent during his investment career.

    Perhaps Buffett should have followed his own advice. The investor famously explained in his 1999 shareholder letter why he avoided technology stocks:

    "Nevertheless, we believe these companies have important competitive advantages that will endure over time. This attribute, which makes for good long-term investment results, is one Charlie and I occasionally believe we can identify. More often, however, we can't — not at least with a high degree of conviction. This explains, by the way, why we don't own stocks of tech companies … we have no insights into which participants in the tech field possess a truly durable competitive advantage." – Berkshire Hathaway 1999 shareholder letter

    But after vowing to avoid the sector, Buffett changed his mind with his purchases of IBM and Apple shares. And now with the investor admitting he was "wrong" on IBM, investors may wonder about his other tech investment.

    He told CNBC in February, he did the research on the smartphone maker himself by asking people how they like Apple products.

    "Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product, and an enormously useful product to people that use it," Buffett said. "I don't have an iPhone … I have an iPad. Somebody gave it to me though."

    Time will tell if Apple has that competitive advantage IBM was lacking.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/05/billi...ng-on-ibm.html

  3. #3
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    Amazon's Jeff Bezos is 'the most remarkable business person of our age,' says Buffett

    "I've never seen a guy succeed in two businesses almost simultaneously," the Berkshire Hathaway CEO says.

    Matthew J. Belvedere
    1 Hour Ago

    Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man, told CNBC that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world's third richest, is "the most remarkable business person of our age."

    "I've never seen a guy succeed in two businesses almost simultaneously that are really quite divergent in terms of customers and all the operations," Buffett said, citing Amazon's success in cloud computing and its dominant position in online retailing.

    "I can't think of another example like it," said the chairman and CEO Berkshire Hathaway, who is never shy about his praise of Bezos.

    As of Friday morning, Buffett's net worth was $75.6 billion according to the billionaires list at Forbes. Bezos was less than $3 billion behind Buffett. (Microsoft's Bill Gates remained No. 1 on the Forbes list, with a net worth of $86 billion.)

    Buffett spoke to CNBC in an interview that aired Friday on "Squawk Box," a day before Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire holds its annual meeting, often referred to the Woodstock of Capitalism.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/05/amazo...n-buffett.html

  4. #4
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    How bubbles are formed

    Elena Holodny
    May 4, 2017

    The Berkshire Hathaway 2017 Annual Shareholders Meeting kicks off on Saturday May 6.

    Ahead of the event, we decided to look back at some nuggets of wisdom on investing from Warren Buffett himself.

    Back in 2010, Buffett answered several questions about what he thought caused the housing and credit bubble in an interview with the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC).

    Mid-way through the interview, he also gave a clear explanation of how bubbles are formed, which we pulled and shared below.

    It's a stunning read for anyone interested in investing or behavioral economics — or, more broadly, in human behavior.

    The interview comes from a document dump from the National Archives, which released transcripts, meeting agendas, and confidentiality agreements from the FCIC. The group was set up in the aftermath of the crisis by Congress to look into the causes of the event.

    Anyway, here's Buffett (emphasis ours):

    "... My former boss, Ben Graham, made an observation 50 or so years ago to me that it really stuck in my mind and now I've seen evidence of it.

    He said, 'You can get in a whole lot more trouble in investing with a sound premise than with a false premise.'

    If you have some premise that the moon is made of green cheese or something, it's ridiculous on its face. If you come out with a premise that common stocks have done better than bonds [... that] became the underlying bulwark for the [1929] bubble. People thought stocks were starting to be wonderful and they forgot the limitations of the original premise [....] So after a while, the original premise, which becomes sort of the impetus for what later turns out to be a bubble is forgotten and the price action takes over.

    Now, we saw the same thing in housing. It’s a totally sound premise that houses will become worth more over time because the dollar becomes worth less. [...]

    And since 66% or 67% of the people want to own their own home and because you can borrow money on it and you're dreaming of buying a home, if you really believe that houses are going to go up in value, you buy one as soon as you can. And that’s a very sound premise. It’s related, of course, though, to houses selling at something like replacement price and not far outstripping inflation.

    So this sound premise that it’s a good idea to buy a house this year because it’s probably going to cost more next year and you’re going to want a home, and the fact that you can finance it gets distorted over time if housing prices are going up 10 percent a year and inflation is a couple percent a year. Soon the price action – or at some point the price action takes over, and you want to buy three houses and five houses and you want to buy it with nothing down and you want to agree to payments that you can’t make and all of that sort of thing, because it doesn’t make any difference: It’ s going to be worth more next year.

    And lender feels the same way. It really doesn’t make a difference if it’s a liar’s loan or you know what I mean? [...] Because even if they have to take it over, it's going to be worth more next year. And once that gathers momentum and it gets reinforced by price action and the original premise is forgotten, which it was in 1929.

    The Internet was the same thing. The Internet was going to change our lives. But it didn't mean that every company was worth $50 billion that could dream up a prospectus.

    And the price action becomes so important to people that it takes over the — it takes over their minds, and because housing was the largest single asset, around $22 trillion or something like that, not above household wealth of $50 trillion or $60 trillion or something like that in the United States. Such a huge asset. So understandable to the public – they might not understand stocks, they might not understand tulip bulbs, but they understood houses and they wanted to buy one anyway and the financing, and you could leverage up to the sky, it created a bubble like we’ve never seen."

    http://www.businessinsider.com/warre...es-form-2017-5

  5. #5
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    Why Warren Buffett Cut Stake In IBM

    Bhuvnesh Rai
    May 5, 2017

    Legendary investor Warren Buffett has reduced holdings in International Business Machines Corp. on concerns of growing competition, which has resulted in a weaker performance than he expected from the tech giant over the past few years, reported CNBC.

    Buffett told the media house that his perceived value of the company has come down, adding that most of the selling was done when IBM shares crossed $180-mark earlier this year, pretty close to the 52-week high of $182.79—after the stock staged a near 50% rally in just over a year to Feb’17 as the company’s revenue declined at a lower pace than expected by the market.

    So far in 2017, he has reduced stake in IBM by nearly a third of more than 80 million shares held earlier and has stopped selling now.

    What’s wrong with IBM

    IBM’s annual revenue has shrunk from more than $105 billion when Buffett started buying its shares to, now, less than $80 billion. Its legacy businesses are contracting fast and new growth avenues — cloud, cognitive computing, and data analytics — have failed to make up for the loss. EPS decline has been steep despite substantial share buybacks and cost cutting efforts.




    The management, however, seems optimistic. “We continue to invest in our strategic imperatives and build-out our practices around cognitive, cloud, mobile and digital design… Our business model is one where we’re constantly delivering productivity for our clients, this is what make us the market leader”, said CFO Martin Schroeter in the most recent earnings call.

    The new cloud-focussed IBM, which has been heavily investing in cloud computing as per its transformation strategy, faces formidable competitors like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In analytics, its pitched against the likes of SAP and Oracle -- which also poses significant competition to IBM’s servers-related businesses.

    “IBM is a big strong company, but they’ve got big strong competitors too”, said Warren Buffett. While many believe in IBM’s comeback, along with investors who like its 3.7% dividend yield, Buffett found the recent rally a good opportunity to reduce his stake in a company with, on a long-term basis, shrinking revenue and operating margin.

    https://simplywall.st/news/2017/05/0...ines-corp-ibm/

  6. #6
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    BT's Leaseback Deal With IBM Said to Be Focus of Italian Probe

    Transaction could have inflated sales, shifted expenses

    Deal said to include assets that may not have existed


    Daniele Lepido and Rebecca Penty
    May 4, 2017

    Milanese prosecutors are investigating a suspected bogus leaseback deal between BT Group Plc and a unit of IBM as they try to piece together the accounting scandal at the British carrier’s Italian arm, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The transaction, which was highlighted in KPMG’s independent review of BT’s business, may have been designed to inflate revenue through a one-time sale of equipment and then spread the expense of renting back the same equipment over several years, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the probe isn’t public. IBM isn’t under investigation, the people said.

    The Italian scandal has eroded investor confidence in BT and its leadership after the carrier in January said it had unearthed “inappropriate” behavior and “improper” accounting going back several years in Italy. The company booked a 530 million pound ($660 million) writedown tied to the scandal and prosecutors in Milan opened a criminal investigation into allegations of false accounting and embezzlement.

    The scrutinized deal involves a 2015 contract under which BT Italia sold electronic equipment that may not have existed to ITF Srl, a small company based in Tuscany, for 32.5 million euros ($35 million), according to the people. ITF sold the assets to IBM Italia Servizi Finanziari Srl and BT agreed to lease back the same assets from the IBM unit -- which specializes in financing IT assets -- for about 36 million euros over three years. BT halted payments after some months and can’t locate serial numbers for all of the gear, leading investigators to believe it may have been fictitious, the people said.

    A representative for the ministry of justice, the arm of Italian government in charge of the Milanese prosecutor’s office, declined to comment, as did IBM. BT said it can’t comment on an ongoing investigation. Paolo Castellacci, the chairman and founder of Sesa SpA, the company that controls ITF, confirmed the transaction and said in a phone interview he had no reason to suspect the equipment was fictitious. Sesa isn’t under investigation, the people said.

    The leaseback deal is an example of the kind of transaction that BT, its accountants and Italian investigators have put under the microscope as they work to understand who was responsible for the fraud and what motivated the individuals. BT has fired senior managers in Italy since initially discovering the accounting deception last year.

    In a typical sale-leaseback, the owner sells an asset to an investor who leases it back to the former owner for its use. Companies in many industries use the method to free up capital from assets such as real estate or equipment to focus on their main business.

    Sophisticated Fraud

    BT has said it was duped by a sophisticated fraud orchestrated by a few employees and missed by its long-time accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers, which the carrier is seeking to replace early.

    BT executives have described a system of inappropriate loans in Italy, taken against accounts receivable, that were used to pay suppliers. BT now has to reimburse the financial-services companies that made the loans. Other improper transactions were associated with a shift of revenue and capital expenses to operating expenses as well as leasebacks, they have said.

    “BT Italia asked us to find a player able to arrange a transaction from capex into opex and we found” the IBM unit, Castellacci said. The financial services company bought equipment from BT for about 32.5 million euros and sold it to IBM for 36 million euros, gaining 3.5 million euros on the deal, he said. The transaction involved about 80,000 pieces of gear, including computers and servers, he said.

    ITF is controlled by Computer Gross Italia SpA, owned by Milan-listed Sesa. Last year, Sesa had revenue of 1.22 billion euros. Sesa shares have gained about 128 percent in the past four years, giving the company a market value of 360 million euros.

    Investor Confidence

    BT’s full-year earnings results scheduled for May 11 will be the next opportunity for Chief Executive Officer Gavin Patterson to publicly highlight how the company plans to rebuild the confidence of investors and regulators even as it contends with a ballooning pension deficit and pressure to maintain its dividend growth plans.

    The fate of its Italy business is part of a wider review by BT of its global services unit, which provides technology consulting, outsourcing and communications systems for customers outside the U.K. Executives said in January that if the money-losing Italy business can’t be made profitable, it could be sold.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-italian-probe

  7. #7
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    IBM Falls as Buffett Reports Reduced Stake

    Jing Cao and Noah Buhayar
    May 5, 2017

    Warren Buffett is acknowledging what many investors have already realized: IBM’s long-promised reinvention is slow, painful and nowhere near close to the end.

    In an interview with CNBC, the billionaire chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed that he sold about a third of the firm’s investment in the computer-services giant during the first half of this year. Before the sales, Berkshire held about 81 million shares. The news led IBM to tumble as much as 3.8 percent to $153.00 Friday in New York, its lowest intraday price since November.

    IBM has been frustrating investors for years, reporting in April its 20th straight quarterly revenue decline. The company once synonymous with mainframe innovations has been slow to adopt cloud-related technologies and has had to play catch-up to offer computing and other software and services delivered over the internet.

    After a run of three straight annual declines, IBM’s shares gained about 21 percent in 2016 but are still more than 25 percent lower than the company’s 10-year peak in 2013. The shares have lagged behind technology peers and the S&P 500 Index in 2017.

    Initial Interest

    Berkshire started building its International Business Machines Corp. stake in 2011, and eventually became the company’s largest shareholder, with an investment valued at almost $13 billion. With his initial interest, Buffett was betting on IBM’s expertise in information technology services to drive growth in emerging markets.

    At the time, then Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano, was steering Big Blue toward services and software and away from hardware. To achieve that, he’d been making aggressive stock buybacks, spending more than $15 billion annually on repurchases during his last two years at the company. IBM abandoned that goal in 2014 under CEO Ginni Rometty, sending shares spiraling.

    Rometty, who took over in 2012, has slowed the pace of share buybacks in recent years, spending instead on acquisitions to bolster growth areas. While IBM is working to become a cloud purveyor, its new services and software haven’t been growing fast enough to counter the slowdown in some of its major business lines, such as traditional information-technology services, which have been declining quickly.

    “I don’t value IBM the same way that I did six years ago when I started buying,” Buffett told CNBC. “I’ve revalued it somewhat downward.”

    Buffett Buffer

    Without the Buffett buffer, IBM may receive more scrutiny around when they’ll reach that inflection point.

    “This may put some pressure on management to be more aggressive in returning to growth,” Anurag Rana, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said in an email. Other investors “may get impatient.”

    Thousands of Berkshire investors will gather in Omaha, Nebraska, for Berkshire’s annual meeting on Saturday. Buffett, 86, and Vice Chairman Charles Munger, who regularly field questions from shareholders at the event, can expect to be quizzed about IBM -- as they have been in the past.

    Representatives of Berkshire and IBM didn’t respond to requests for comment after regular business hours.

    No Commitment

    While Buffett is known for sticking with stocks like Coca-Cola Co. for decades, he’s not wedded to old favorites when circumstances change. In recent years, he got rid of most of Berkshire’s stock in Procter & Gamble Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He cited the competition facing Wal-Mart from online rivals like Amazon.com Inc., while pointing in 2012 to disappointing results at P&G.

    The billionaire also exited most of its stake in Graham Holdings Inc., after that company sold the Washington Post newspaper. Buffett was previously on the board of the Washington Post Co., and the stock was one of his best investments.

    Berkshire stressed in its annual report in February that it’s willing to exit long-time holdings in its stock portfolio, contrasting that flexibility with Buffett’s commitment to permanently hold most companies that he acquires outright.

    “It is true that we own some stocks that I have no intention of selling for as far as the eye can see (and we’re talking 20/20 vision),” Buffett wrote in the letter. “But we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever.”

    Two common yardsticks for value investing show IBM’s assets being downgraded by the market while estimated earnings have failed to keep pace with the stock price.



    The company’s price to book ratio has receded to near its 2011 level while price to earnings growth has increased by about 75 percent.



    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...kshire-meeting

  8. #8
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    IBM short-circuits Dow

    Barbara Kollmeyer
    May 5, 2017

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 7 points, or less than 0.1%, lower at 20,945, weighed down by steep losses in shares of IBM, which plunged 2.5% following news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold a third of its stake in the company.


    17:46:38 GMT - Real-time CFD Data. Currency in USD


    Prev. Close 158.9
    Open 153.52
    Volume 9,358,174
    Average Vol. (3m) 3,963,318
    Shares Outstanding 939,496,884

    Day's Range 153 - 155.78
    52 wk Range 142.5 - 182.79

    Market Cap 149.43B
    Revenue 79.39B
    Dividend (Yield) 5.6 (3.77%)
    P/E Ratio 13.07
    EPS 12.17
    Next Earnings DateJul 18, 2017

    https://www.investing.com/equities/ibm

  9. #9
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Face a média diária negociada de 4 milhões, vender 30 milhões de ações sem o mercado perceber requereu vários pregões e o gráfico acima pode até sugerir que houve manipulação para alcançar o preço médio de US$ 180 durante o periodo. A diferença de US$ 20 implicou em ganho de US$ 600 milhões. Para quem agiu na surdina, por que iria fazer comentários em público que prejudicariam o valor das 50 milhões de ações ainda em seu poder?
    Última edição por 5ms; 05-05-2017 às 16:23.

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