Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting 2021 Live Updates

Yahoo Finance is exclusively live-streaming this event. Check back here for real-time updates.

Warren Buffett began addressing investors around the world on Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A, BRK-B) 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting

As has been the case in years past, Buffett is fielding questions on Berkshire’s business, markets and the economy in an hours-long event. These remarks have been known to move markets, in securities both included and absent from the famed Berkshire portfolio. Last year, Buffett disclosed at the annual meeting that Berkshire had sold out of its entire interest in the airline stocks American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) in the first quarter of 2020, sparking a drop in the stocks at the time.

The Oracle of Omaha has typically also used his remarks to impart broader advice about finding success and living a well-rounded life, with these maxims offered in a characteristically optimistic tone. 

But in many ways, this year’s meeting looks different from those in the past. The annual event is taking place in a hotel conference room in Los Angeles rather than in an arena in Omaha, Nebraska, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Billionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett attends a television interview during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2008. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES)

Billionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett attends a television interview during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2008. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES)

Billionaire financier and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett attends a television interview during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2008. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES)

Buffett’s long-time business partner Charlie Munger also returned onstage this year to co-lead the event, after sitting out last year due to the pandemic. And in a new move, Buffett and Munger were joined by Berkshire’s Vice Chairmen Gregory Abel and Ajit Jain, in a signal of potential succession plans at the company.

1:20 p.m. ET: ‘This has been the longest decade of my life’: See’s Candies CEO on operating during the pandemic

The CEO of See’s Candies, one of the longstanding companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway, told Yahoo Finance that the company has seen a strong rebound at the start of 2021. However, last year, business virtually ground to a halt. 

“This has been the longest decade of my life. We’ve been through a lot. Last year – it’s a tale of a couple of different quarters. The first quarter was tremendous,” See’s Candies CEO Pat Egan said in an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche ahead of the start of Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting. “In the middle of March, when this [pandemic] really hit, we shut down all of our stores in a span of five days. So about 245 stores we closed in a matter of days. And then about a week and a half later, we closed our e-commerce fulfillment center down in Southern California. So for a period of time there, we essentially completely stopped.”

“We just said, we’re not going to reopen stores or reopen plants until we can create a safe operating environment for our employees,” he added. “That took a while, and by the time we restored over the summer we saw customers coming back in. But for that period of time, it was pretty rough.” 

See’s Candies just completed its “best first quarter ever” at the start of 2021, Egan added.

8:20 a.m. ET: Berkshire Hathaway reports 20% jump in Q1 operating profit, additional stock buybacks

Berkshire Hathaway reported first-quarter results Saturday morning, underscoring a rebound in profits across the firm’s businesses amid the COVID-19 recovery. Berkshire also reported that it conducted another $6.6 billion of stock buybacks, extending its ramped-up share repurchase program from 2020. 

Operating income during the first three months of the year increased to $7.02 billion, rising 19.5% compared to the $5.87 billion posted in the first quarter of 2020. Net earnings attributable to Berkshire shareholders swung back to a profit of $11.71 billion, compared to a loss of $49.75 billion in the same quarter last year. 

Consolidated shareholders’ equity rose by $4.8 billion to $448 billion by the end of March compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Read more on Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

Visit the Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/berkshire-hathaway-annual-meeting-2021-live-updates-220309349.html

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