Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



What Separates General Electric Company And Berkshire Hathaway?

Among the 10 largest companies (link opens a PDF) in the world, General Electric (NYSE: GE  )  and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  )  stand as the only two well-known conglomerates. Each owns businesses involved in an array of industries, employs at least 300,000 employees, and generates more than $140 billion in revenue annually.

In terms of operations, however, the similarities end there. Beneath the surface, these two corporate giants couldn't be more different than an upstate Yankee and a salt-of-the earth Midwesterner. And, in a sense, that's what they are.

Buffett, an Omaha native, at the annual meeting of shareholders in Omaha.

GE was founded in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1892, while Berkshire found a home in Omaha in the 1960s when Warren Buffett assumed control of the former textile operation. The former became an American manufacturing icon. The latter emerged as one of the best managed investing outfits of all time.

Today, investors regard each company as time-tested "blue chip" stocks, complete with built-in diversification due the assortment of businesses under a single umbrella. When in doubt, it seems you can't go wrong with GE or Berkshire over the long haul.

But before investing your hard-earned cash in either company, there are some important distinctions to keep in mind. A few questions I hear often from investors include the following:

  • What formula has worked for these companies while other conglomerates have failed?
  • Why does GE's dividend yield a hearty 3.2% while Buffett has shied away from dividends since 1966?
  • Why does Berkshire seem to scatter its bets far and wide while GE tends to align itself with a handful of industries?

In the following video, Motley Fool senior manufacturing specialist Isaac Pino dives into the characteristics that separate GE and Berkshire. When you look under the hood, these two companies run on a different type of fuel and with a different economic engine. It's no surprise then, that CEOs Jeff Immelt and Warren Buffett represent two different types of drivers at the wheel.

Watch the short clip below to better understand why one is a hands-on operator and the other is a backseat navigator. And find out why both styles work just fine.

Buffett is bullish on GE, but sees a "real threat" to his portfolio
At the recent Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Warren Buffett admitted an emerging technology is threatening his biggest cash-cow. While Buffett shakes in his billionaire-boots, only a few investors are embracing this new market which experts say will be worth over $2 trillion. Find out how you can cash in on this technology before the crowd catches on, by jumping onto one company that could get you the biggest piece of the action. Click here to access a FREE investor alert on the company we're calling the "brains behind" the technology.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3024325, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 8:52:07 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Isaac Pino

Isaac covers the companies that constantly push the world forward, from the engines of innovation like GE and Google to the rule breakers like Chipotle and Whole Foods. He admires the leaders that embody the philosophy of Conscious Capitalism.

Today's Market

updated 11 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.76 23.38 0.00%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.00%
NASD 4,733.50 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/3/2015 4:00 PM
BRK-A $199665.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Berkshire Hathaway… CAPS Rating: ****
BRK-B $132.15 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Berkshire Hathaway CAPS Rating: *****
GE $24.51 Down +0.00 +0.00%
General Electric C… CAPS Rating: ****