Although I haven't had the chance to ask Warren Buffett what he'd like for Christmas, I imagine his letter to Santa would look something like this:
2013 has been a solid year for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) , and I'm thankful for that. We bought Heinz -- they make ketchup, which is red, just like your sleigh -- for a tidy $28 billion in partnership with 3G Capital, and I'm certain it was a great investment in a great company.
We also added a nice $3.4 billion position in ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) , which places it just behind Wal-Mart in our portfolio. I suspect your elves aren't the biggest fans of Wal-Mart, as it provides quite a bit of competition in the toy landscape, but I'm certain you all have a competitive edge. Exxon could likely help you out if you every run into any issues with heat in the North Pole -- they know a thing or two about energy. I also suspect they could make your coal production phenomenally more cost effective. I hear there have been some naughty CEOs this year.
As you know, I'm also a tremendous fan of Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) , and based on what I've seen, it looks like you are too. I have a nice cold Cherry Coke with the See's Candies -- they're better than cookies -- next to the fireplace for a little nourishment for you before you journey out of Omaha.
Speaking of your sleigh, did you know I also have managed to accumulate a $19.1 billion position in Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) ? I assume you did, as John Stumpf and his team are undoubtedly on your nice list. But the reason I ask is because their logo of the horse drawn carriage makes me wonder if you moonlight for them in the spring and summer months? Simply a thought.
It's also worth mentioning that if you're ever in the mood for a different way to travel, I'd highly recommend you consider a NetJet. It is a wonderful way to get largely anywhere in the world. Your sleigh is fast, but a private jet is tough to compete with. And if you're ever looking for a new set of boots, perhaps you should consider Brooks shoes, they're wildly comfortable. I image Mrs. Claus makes your suit, but if you need an extra layer, I'd suggest something our team at Fruit of the Loom came up with. In the interest of full disclosure, Berkshire Hathaway owns all of those as well.
But enough about that. I just have a few simple requests for Christmas. The first is about our good friends at IBM. I hope the whole "Big Blue" thing doesn't bother you, considering you're a fan of red and all. I first started buying their shares in the summer of 2011 -- when the price was right around $175 -- which is almost exactly what it stands at today. I don't need much, but I'd love it if you could give their engineers a new product to bring to market or something that'll get the stock price inching upwards.
A few Christmas's ago you also gave me ammunition for my "elephant gun" And while I've searched, I still can't find a company to use it on. Everything is mighty expensive in 2013, so a safari trip where I'm assured of spotting some big game would be great to unwrap on Christmas morning. That, or a brief moment of market panic. That's usually when I make my big bucks!
I know you're a busy man much like myself, so this is my last request, but I'd really appreciate it if you could get folks to stop asking me who will succeed me as chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. No one asks you who your successor will be, so I'm not sure why they're so compelled to do the same for me. Perhaps you'd leave me a bag of coal to send to any journalist who speculates on the subject. We've decided who it is; can't that be enough for them?
Thanks again for all the gifts over the years -- here's to hoping 2014 is as good a year as the last 83.
The real words of Warren
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