Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting: Follow all the action as Warren Buffett takes the stage

Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting: Follow all the action as Warren Buffett takes the stage

Berkshire earnings decline in the first quarter

Berkshire Hathaway’s first-quarter earnings declined year over year, with the stock market turmoil and weaker insurance results hurting results.

The company reported $5.46 billion in earnings, down from $11.71 billion in the year-earlier period for a decline of about 53%.

Because of Berkshire’s large investment holdings, earnings can be volatile quarter to quarter. Buffett has long said investors should focus on Berkshire’s operating earnings, which were mostly flat year over year at $7.04 billion, as a better indicator of the firm’s performance.

The pace of stock buybacks also slowed, with Berkshire spending $3.2 billion on repurchases compared with $6.9 billion in the prior quarter. The company ended March with  $106.3 billion in cash.

—Jesse Pound

Long lines at CHI Health Center

Shareholders lined up Saturday morning to enter CHI Health Center for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting.

Shareholders lining up to get into CHI Health Center for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. April 30, 2022.

CNBC | Yun Li

Shareholders lining up to get into CHI Health Center for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. April 30, 2022.

CNBC | Yun Li

People enter the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, April 30, 2022.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

—Yun Li and Hannah Miao

Shareholders look for Buffett’s guidance during market turmoil

Berkshire’s annual shareholder arrives at a time of heightened worry in the stock market.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finished a rough April at their lows for the year. The broad S&P 500 suffered its worst month since March 2020, while the the tech-heavy Nasdaq had its worst month since 2008.

Berkshire also struggled in April, but its stock has been a relative safe-haven and is up nearly 8% for the year.

Buffett’s decades of experiences spans many recessions, bear markets and periods of high volatility, so his acolytes will likely be looking for his guidance on how to approach investing at this current moment.

—Jesse Pound

Buffett is putting cash to work

Berkshire Hathaway’s massive cash pile dipped to $106.3 billion at the end of the first quarter, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2018, as Warren Buffet ramped up his investment activity.

The “Oracle of Omaha” recently used $23 billion in different investments — $11.6 billion to acquire insurer Alleghany, more than $7 billion in additional investments in oil giant Occidental Petroleum and $4.2 billion for a stake in PC maker Hewlett-Packard.

What to expect from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

Buffett is expected to kick off Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting on a high note, with the “Oracle of Omaha” finally back in the deal-making game and the conglomerate’s outperforming stock crossing a key milestone.

The 91-year-old chairman and CEO will be on stage with his right-hand man Charlie Munger at 98 to answer shareholder questions, following a flurry of investment activities — stakes in Occidental Petroleum and HP as well as an acquisition of Alleghany.

Here are some of the big topics shareholders will want to hear from Buffett:

  • Market outlook: The stock market has suffered a correction on fears of inflation and rising rates. How should investors navigate the volatility and a tricky economic landscape?
  • Deploying more cash: Buffett has been putting capital to work as of late. Will his buying spree continue? Is he going to pull off an “elephant-sized” deal?
  • A slowdown in buybacks: With Berkshire shares significantly outperforming, will Buffett cease or continue to slow down his aggressive buyback program?
  • Life after Buffett and Munger: Berkshire’s succession plan
  • China, crypto, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and more

— Yun Li

Here’s the schedule for CNBC’s coverage of the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting

CNBC: 2022 BHASM: Becky Quick at the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, April 29, 2022.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

CNBC will be livestreaming Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting on Saturday, beginning at 9:45 a.m. ET. Viewers can expect a lively discussion regarding Warren Buffett’s view of the market, Berkshire’s plans to spend its cash and other key topics.

Here is a rundown of the day’s events:

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Pre-show anchored by Becky Quick and Mike Santoli

10:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Morning session of annual meeting

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Halftime show anchored by Becky Quick and Mike Santoli

2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Afternoon session of annual meeting

4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Post-show anchored by Becky Quick and Mike Santoli

4:45 p.m.: Formal Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

Post-meeting coverage: Final thoughts live from Omaha, Nebraska, with Becky Quick and Mike Santoli

Note: Schedule reflects Eastern Time

—Christina Cheddar Berk

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