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Forbes HeadlinesAug 08, 2020
China Drug Maker's Shares Soar On COVID-19 Vaccine Pact With AstraZeneca
Shares among leading China pharmaceutical makers have soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yahoo BusinessAug 08, 2020
Buffett Bought Back His Own Stock While Selling Others
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. were left out of the stock market rally in the second quarter. Warren Buffett clearly thought the disconnect wasn't warranted.The famed investor spent a record $5.1 billion buying back Berkshire's own stock in the second quarter, more than double the amount he'd ever purchased before. That came as he unloaded almost $13 billion of other companies' shares, including airline stocks and some financials, in what was his biggest selling quarter in more than a decade.Buffett has been building up cash this year and took a more cautious tone at his annual meeting in May as the Covid-19 pandemic has slammed the economy without putting a permanent dent in stock-market valuations. But his appetite for his own stock in the second quarter, along with recent signs that he's been willing to put more money to work, are reasons for some optimism, according to Jim Shanahan, an analyst at Edward Jones."The buybacks are a relatively safe way to deploy capital in an uncertain environment," said Shanahan, who estimated that Berkshire repurchased another $2.4 billion of shares in July. "But it's clear that that's not all he's doing."Buffett's cash pile surged to a record $146.6 billion at the end of June, in part from dumping all of his airline shares in April. He's been more active lately, striking a deal for natural-gas assets in July and snapping up at least $2 billion of Bank of America Corp. stock in recent weeks through Aug. 4. Overall, Saturday's disclosures signaled to longtime sharehol

Yahoo BusinessAug 08, 2020
Buffett's Grim View of Air Travel Realized in $10 Billion Charge
(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett's dire airline predictions have hit close to home.After dumping his stakes in airlines earlier this year with a warning that the pandemic had unleashed fundamental change on that business, Buffett's own Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took a roughly $10 billion impairment charge tied to Precision Castparts, its massive maker of plane parts. A vaccine may be the only remedy for the pandemic's "particularly severe" impact on the aerospace market, Berkshire said."The Covid-19 pandemic produced material declines in commercial air travel during the second quarter," Berkshire said Saturday in a regulatory filing discussing second-quarter results. "Airlines responded by reducing and/or cancelling aircraft orders, which is resulting in significant reductions in build rates by aircraft manufacturers and significant inventory reduction initiatives being implemented by PCC's customers."At Berkshire's annual meeting in May, Buffett announced a full reversal on his airline bet, with his conglomerate going from one of the biggest shareholders in all four major U.S. carriers to owning none. A rally in airline shares over the next month had critics including President Donald Trump saying Buffett had erred, but the S&P 500 Airlines index is down 26% since that early June high.Despite those stock sales, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company still had a significant exposure to the air travel slump through Precision, a business it bought more than four years ago in a deal valued at $37.2 billion.Now,

Yahoo BusinessAug 08, 2020
Coronavirus punishes Warren Buffett, as Berkshire Hathaway takes big writedown
Berkshire, which acquired Precision for $32.1 billion in 2016 in its largest acquisition, said COVID-19 caused airlines to slash aircraft orders, resulting in significantly less demand for Precision's products and revenue to fall by about one-third. It also said results may continue suffering as the unit undertakes an "aggressive restructuring" to shrink operations to meet lowered demand. Precision was not the only drag on Berkshire, which said the pandemic has caused "relatively minor to severe" damage to most of its more than 90 operating businesses, which include the BNSF railroad, Geico auto insurer and See's candies.

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