Thousands Line Up for Buffett's So-So News

Don't expect big Berkshire gains like before, he says
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 3:13 PM CDT
Investor Warren Buffett bites into an ice cream bar made by Dairy Queen, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, during the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, in Omaha, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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(Newser) – Thousands of stockholders descended on Omaha for today's annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting, but what they heard didn't send Blackberries abuzz, the Wall Street Journal reports. Warren Buffett said his iconic company won’t be pulling in double-digit returns anymore. “Anyone that expects us to come close to replicating the past should sell their stock,” he said. “It's not going to happen.”

The company has become too big to make major stock-boosting moves. “What we really like is buying large, first-class businesses and just sitting there,” he said, but that strategy won't produce gaudy returns like before. Berkshire’s first-quarter profit fell 64% thanks to insurance underwriting losses, but Buffett said those contracts should eventually prove profitable.