Warren Buffett to Offer Perspective on the Economy During Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s (BRK/A) annual meeting is set to kick off Saturday with Warren Buffett followers eager to hear what the world's most famous investor has to say about the state of the U.S. economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Typically, thousands of people flock to Omaha each year for the Berkshire meeting, filling a downtown arena and many of the city's hotels. These Berkshire shareholders come to buy products from the host of companies held in the conglomerate -- from Geico and Fruit of the Loom to See's Candies and Brooks Sports -- and hear from Mr. Buffett and Charlie Munger onstage for hours.

But because of the coronavirus pandemic, only Mr. Buffett and Greg Abel, Berkshire's vice chairman of noninsurance operations, are physically present at this year's annual meeting. The two will be taking shareholder questions chosen by a group of handpicked journalists, with the event livestreamed on Yahoo.

Mr. Munger -- Berkshire vice chairman as well as Mr. Buffett's most trusted partner and typical running mate at the meeting -- isn't in attendance.

After a quarter in which Berkshire reported a loss of nearly $49.7 billion but also posted higher operating earnings and $137.3 billion in cash, much of the focus will be on a lack of deal-making from the firm. For years, Mr. Buffett has lamented the challenge of finding acquisition targets that are large enough to move the needle for Berkshire and reasonably priced.

Over the last month, the pandemic has crushed the price of a host of assets. And yet, his firm hasn't made a deal.

Write to Geoffrey Rogow at geoffrey.rogow@wsj.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  05-02-20 1700ET
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