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Case Study of Warren E. Buffet

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Case Study of Warren E. Buffet

In 1995 Berkshire Hathaway has made a bid for the shares of GEICO.

This report reviews the offer made by Warren Buffet and will try to

prove that the acquisition of GEICO will serve the long-term goal of

Berkshire Hathaway and the bid price was appropriate. Furthermore, it

will explain what may have caused for the share price increase for

Berkshire Hathaway at the announcement of GEICO’s acquisition.

Would the GEICO acquisition serve the long-term goals of Berkshire

Hathaway?

In 1976, Warren Buffet paid $45.7 million for 34.25 shares of GEICO.

Review of GEICO’s historical dividends shows that GEICO has been a

very profitable investment for Berkshire Hathaway. The growth rate for

1994 is a sharp increase, but even if the growth rate for 1994 is not

considered, GEICO’s historical increase in dividends has been

considerably high so that acquisition of GEICO will serve the

long-term goals of Berkshire Hathaway.

What might account for the share price increase for Berkshire Hathaway

at the announcement?

Review of Warren Buffet’s historical investment success might explain

the increase in share price for Berkshire Hathaway at the

announcement. Given that he has had a good track record, it is

expected that shareholders respond positively. In 1977, the price of

Berkshire Hathaway was $89 closing at $25,400 by 1995, an unparalleled

annual growth of 37.7%. In comparison, the growth rate of the S&P 500

over the same period was 14.3%. Warren Buffet’s formidable investment

performance was also demonstrated when Berkshire Hathaway acquired

Scott & Fetzer. Berkshire Hathaway paid $315 million for Scott &

Fetzer in 1985 after which they received significant dividends. Again,

Buffet’s investment performance on the acquisition of Scott & Fetzer

outperformed the S&P 500 evident by an internal rate of return (IRR)

of 26.4% including the 1994 cash flow or 14.9% without 1994 cash flow

on the Scott & Fetzer investment.

Clearly, Warren Buffet’s positive investment performance carried a

significant weight and influences the market to have a more optimistic

outlook on his investments. Conversely, his historical records of

investment success do add value to shareholders trust.

Was the bid price appropriate?

GEICO Corp was selling for $55.75 at the time Warren Buffet and

Berkshire Hathaway made an offer of $70 including a 26% premium over

the current GEICO stock price. One would expect that what appeared to

be an overprice bid would lead to a negative market reaction. On the

contrary, Berkshire Hathaway’s shares closed up 2.4% for the day for a

gain in market value of $718 million after the announcement. The

gain’s effect was twofold – it increased the value of GEICO shares

(34.25 million) Berkshire Hathaway already owned and it also made the
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