Johnson & Johnson
In July, J&J took an 18.4% stake in Elan
I like both moves. Elan was fairly desperate for cash, allowing Johnson & Johnson to get a good deal. And while vaccines may not be sexy, they are a nice moneymaker for pharmaceutical companies. Crucell was being courted by Wyeth earlier this year, until it broke off talks when Pfizer
Johnson & Johnson isn't the only drug company taking stakes in smaller partners: Novartis
But what makes Johnson & Johnson so much like Buffett is the value-investing mentality. Last year, for instance, it picked up both Mentor and Omrix Biopharmaceuticals after investors had cast them off.
As Johnson & Johnson continues to generate free cash flow every quarter, I expect it'll maintain the tradition of stellar acquisitions and equity investments.
Of course, Buffett owns shares of J&J, so perhaps we should just call Berkshire Hathaway the Berkshire of health care -- even if Buffett doesn't care about the details of the industry.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Elan are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Berkshire Hathaway is a Stock Advisor selection. Berkshire Hathaway and Pfizer are Inside Value picks. Johnson & Johnson is a Income Investor selection. Alcon and Novartis AG are Global Gains recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has an equity stake in Berkshire Hathaway, so perhaps we're the Berkshire of health care. The Fool's disclosure policy refuses to pile on to this nonsense.