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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett held court this weekend at Berkshire's annual meeting, fielding dozens of pressing questions about the company, investing strategies, and a new CEO.
Some 40,000 gathered to hear what the leader of the storied Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK A, BRK B) had to say about the state of the company and its fate following Buffett's recent diagnosis with prostate cancer. The Oracle of Omaha triggers such an enthusiastic investing response the event ends up more like a festival than a shareholders' meeting.
Buffett dismissed the health news as a mere non-event, barely touching on the subject.
The investing legend instead focused on the money.
Buffett on Berkshire
Berkshire posted first-quarter earnings Friday after the close that doubled compared to the same period a year ago, fueled by gains in its insurance, manufacturing, service and retail businesses.
The company reported earnings of $3.25 billion for first quarter 2012, translating to $1,966 per Class A share, versus $1.51 billon in the first quarter of 2011.
Operating income came in light at $1,615 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomas Reuters had forecast $1,780.
The company also posted gains from its derivates holdings – investments that Buffett once referred to as "financial weapons of mass destruction."