Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Warren Buffett on Coca Cola

"Coke is a fabulous company. It sold the equivalent of 21 billion cases last year, and that number goes up every year. Back in 1997 and 1998, when the stock was trading at $80, earnings per share were $1.50. Last year the company earned $2.17—and earnings were of much higher quality than back in the late 1990s. Every year the company gets a little higher share of the liquids that people consume. The company has $5 billion or $6 billion in tangible assets (ex bottler assets), and earns about that much annually. A 100% pretax return on tangible assets is pretty attractive." said Warren Buffett.

"In the late 1990s the stock got a little crazy, but we can’t hold management responsible for that. But long-term it’s a wonderful business. Volume grows by 5%, year in and year out, while global population grows at just 2%. It’s just that for awhile the stock got to a silly price. You can fault me for not selling any. We’ll own Coke years from now." said Warren Buffett.

Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting May 6, 2006

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