Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced that it will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders on May 1, 2021. On the back of the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic, the company will again hold the AGM virtually. Every year till 2019, the iconic annual general meeting in Omaha, Nebraska had been attended by tens of thousands of global investors, corporate leaders and economists, who gather to hear CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger’s plans for Berkshire’s businesses and investing. The last virtual AGM 2020 was attended by just a handful of Berkshire officials. “Unfortunately, we do not currently believe it will be safe at that time to hold a meeting with nearly 40,000 attendees as we last did in 2019,” the company said in a press release.
The format for the 2021 meeting will be similar to the virtual meeting that was held earlier in May this year including worldwide streaming provided by Yahoo. Earlier this week, US officials unveiled plans to commence vaccination against COVID-19 in the country from mid-December. “We hope that the 2021 meeting will be the last time that shareholders are unable to attend in person,” the company said.
The additional information regarding the 2021 meeting will be included in Berkshire’s 2020 Annual Report scheduled to be released on February 27, 2021, and in its proxy statement which will be released in mid-March 2021. Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, manufacturing, retailing and services. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. “We look forward to 2022 when we expect to again host shareholders in Omaha at our usual large gala aka ‘Woodstock for Capitalists’,” Berkshire Hathaway said in a news release.
Recap to AGM 2020
Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway at AGM 2020 said that “Nothing can basically stop America”. While addressing the shareholder in the virtual event, Buffet added that “We’ve faced great problems in the past… The American miracle, the American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again”. In the second half of March and April 2020, most of the company’s businesses were negatively affected. Buffett admitted that he made an ‘understandable mistake’ in valuing stock noting that the airline sector has been ‘really hurt by a forced shutdown’ due to the virus. He also suggested that the best way to invest in a growing stock market over a period of time is to put money in the S&P 500 index fund.
Berkshire Hathaway Q3 operating earning falls
Last month, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported lower quarterly operating results and said that coronavirus pandemic may cause further damage. According to a Reuters report, the third-quarter operating profit fell 32 per cent to $5.48 billion, or about $3,488 per Class A share, from $8.07 billion a year earlier. During the period, Berkshire repurchased a record $9.3 billion of its underperforming stock. Buybacks totaled $16 billion from January to September, and appeared to total at least $2.3 billion in October because Berkshire’s share count dropped.