Warren Buffett may be in the process of surreptitiously bagging a pair of elephants. As the investing icon observed in Berkshire Hathaway's
Now, CNBC's Liz Claman reports that "Berkshire Hathaway has bought large stakes -- one of $700 million and another for slightly less -- in two North American railroad companies." This in addition to the Berkshire's stake of close to 40 million shares, or nearly 11%, in Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Publicly held railroads generally have done well of late. CSX
Buffett's well known Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway has stakes in a variety of public and private companies, from manufactured housing company Clayton Homes to MidAmerican Energy Holdings to the Buffalo News newspaper and on to Georgia carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries. His company's largest investments in public companies include stakes in American Express
So what other railroads Buffett and Berkshire are currently buying remains anyone's guess. I, like you, would like to know the identities of those two companies. But as Buffett also said in his most recent letter to Berkshire investors -- regarding two public companies whose shares Berkshire Hathaway continues to buy (possibly the rails in question) -- "We don't itemize two securities because we continue to buy them. I could tell you their names. But then I would have to kill you."
All I can say is that I'll be watching the railroad industry considerably more closely than I might have before Buffett's interview with CNBC. But in the interest of my life and limb, I won't pry excessively into specific corporate identities.
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