Buffett embraces Amazon as Berkshire gains stake

In the past Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meetings, Buffett has made no secret of his respect for Jeff Bezos and Amazon, by continually praising the e-commerce giant and its chief executive.

Buffett told CNBC on Thursday that a money manager at Berkshire Hathaway has been buying shares in Amazon lately.

He holds a stake in Apple and had a sizeable investment in IBM at one point, but has generally refrained from investing in numerous biggest technology companies that have become powerhouses in the 21st Century, including Google, Facebook and - until now - Amazon.

Since making his first stock purchase at 11 years old, Warren Buffett has built a business empire that extends to insurance, rail transport and frozen desserts, not to mention a bulging portfolio of financial market investments. Amazon was trading sharply higher in pre-market trading on May 3. "Amazon is kind of the flip side of that".

The growing cash pile will likely spur questions about Buffett's outlook for dealmaking at the 2019 shareholder meeting later Saturday.

"One of the fellows in the office that manage money.bought some Amazon so it will show up in the 13F" later this month, Buffett told CNBC, referring to Berkshire's quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission in which it details its equity holdings.

Buffett has been prepping shareholders for the possibility of more stock buybacks, a move he's largely shunned throughout his more than six-decade career. "It speaks to what we're seeing at Berkshire, the beginning of the changing of the guard, as Warren and Charlie Munger are getting on in years".

The multi-billionaire describes this business line as Berkshire Hathaway's growth engine, allowing the company to invest policyholder premiums and pay out claims as needed.

That gradual shift at Berkshire as is a healthy development, Shields said. "I hope [Buffett] lives forever, but that's probably not a good bet".

  • Anthony Vega