REUTERS - Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc will this weekend welcome tens of thousands of people to Omaha for the company's annual shareholder gathering, which Buffett calls "Woodstock for Capitalists."
It almost wasn't to be.
Prior to taking over Berkshire on May 10, 1965, Buffett had planned to sell back his shares in what was then a struggling textile company. But he got angry when the term sheet showed a price 12-1/2 cents a share less than he agreed to. He responded by buying all the shares he could, until he won control.
Fifty-one years later, Berkshire is an energy, insurance, manufacturing, railroad, retailing and investment empire with close to 90 companies, well over $100 billion of common stock investments, and a market value around $364 billion.
The following comes from Berkshire and other sources.
-2015 net income: $24.08 billion, up 21 percent from 2014
-2015 operating income: $17.36 billion, up 5 percent from 2014
-2015 revenue: $210.82 billion, up 8 percent from 2014
-Stock price: $221,430 per Class A share as of April 27, 2016, roughly 3 percent below its December 2014 peak. Berkshire Class B shares are worth about 1/1,500th of Class A shares.
-Stock price underperformance relative to Standard & Poor's 500 in 2015: 11.8 percentage points
-Stock price outperformance relative to Standard & Poor's 500 in 2016, through April 27: 9.4 percentage points
-Compounded annual stock price outperformance relative to Standard & Poor's 500 from 1965-2015, including dividends: 11.1 percentage points
-Selected businesses owned: Benjamin Moore, Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, BNSF, Borsheim's Fine Jewelry, Brooks, Business Wire, Clayton Homes, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom, Geico, General Re, IMC International Metalworking, International Dairy Queen, Lubrizol, Marmon, McLane, National Indemnity, Nebraska Furniture Mart, NetJets, Precision Castparts, See's Candies
-Employees at year end: 361,270
-Employees in main office: 25 (including Buffett)
-Approximate length of federal tax return: 30,400 pages
-Major stock investments as of Dec. 31, 2015: Wells Fargo, $27.2 billion; Coca-Cola, $17.2 billion; IBM, $11.2 billion; American Express, $10.5 billion. (Berkshire also owns warrants to buy 700 million Bank of America shares for $5 billion, less than half their current value, before September 2021.)
SELECTED BERKSHIRE ACQUISITIONS (larger amounts rounded to nearest billion) (Sources: Barclays Capital, Berkshire)
Geico, 1996, $2.3 billion
Dairy Queen, 1998, $590 million
General Re, 1998, $16 billion
Clayton Homes, 2003, $1.7 billion
PacifiCorp, 2006, $5 billion
Marmon Holdings, 2008, $4.5 billion
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, 2010, $27 billion
Lubrizol, 2011, $9 billion
NV Energy, 2013, $6 billion
H.J. Heinz, 2013, $12 billion (52.5 percent stake, since converted into a 26.8 percent stake in Kraft Heinz)
Van Tuyl Group, 2015, $4.1 billion
Precision Castparts, 2016, $32 billion
ATTENDANCE AT BERKSHIRE ANNUAL MEETINGS (Sources: Omaha World-Herald, Berkshire, Reuters)
1979: about 24
FACTS ABOUT WARREN BUFFETT
Born: August 30, 1930 (But likes steak, hamburger, Cherry Coke and See's Candies, and says he eats like a 6-year-old.)
Education: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Columbia Business School
Net worth: $69.3 billion on April 27, 2016, ranking third worldwide. Bill Gates, the Microsoft Corp co-founder and Berkshire director, ranked first. (Source: Forbes)
Berkshire ownership stake: 18.8 percent as of March 2, 2016
Berkshire voting power: 33.0 percent as of March 2, 2016
Annual salary at Berkshire: $100,000
Succession: Buffett has not publicly signaled any plan to step down soon. Investors consider Berkshire insurance executive Ajit Jain and Berkshire Hathaway Energy chief Gregory Abel leading candidates to succeed him as Berkshire chief executive. Berkshire portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler are leading candidates to become Berkshire's chief investment officer. Buffett's eldest son Howard is expected to become non-executive chairman, and work to preserve Berkshire's culture.
Famous Buffett quotation: "Lose money for the firm, and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless." - Sept. 4, 1991 testimony before Congress about Salomon Inc, where Buffett became interim chairman to restore order after a Treasury auction bidding scandal. John Gutfreund, who had led Salomon, died in March.
Family: Buffett married Astrid Menks on August 30, 2006, his 76th birthday. His first wife, Susan Buffett, died in 2004. Buffett has three children from his first marriage: Susan, Howard and Peter.
Philanthropy: After Buffett dies, his Berkshire stock will go to philanthropies. In 2006, Buffett pledged 85 percent of his net worth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities.
Home: Has lived in the same house since 1958. The 95-year-old, 10-room, five-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath home on 0.72 acres was assessed at $660,200 in 2016. (Source: Douglas County, Nebraska)
Status of Warren Buffett's Twitter account on April 27, 2016: tweets, 7; followers, 1.14 million.
Status of "Margaritaville" singer Jimmy Buffett's Twitter account on April 27, 2016: tweets, 1,377; followers, 641,000.