It’s the event of the season in Omaha: the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting.
About 40,000 Berkshire Hathaway investors are expected to flood Omaha this weekend, waiting for their chance to ask CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger for nuggets of wisdom and to glean hints about the insurance giant’s future on Saturday.
Even hotel prices are surging: According to Kayak, while a room at the Hilton Omaha typically goes for about $149 a night, this weekend that same room will set you back about $629. Most nearby Marriott and Hilton buildings meanwhile are entirely sold out.
So, if you’re planning to watch the Oracle from somewhere other than Omaha, here’s what you need to know.
When is the Berkshire Hathaway meeting, and how do I watch live online?
Yahoo! Finance will live stream the meeting on Saturday, May 4 starting at 9:45 a.m. ET (8:45 a.m. CT/6:45 a.m. PT) on its website.
The famous six hour long question and answer session however won’t begin until 10:15 a.m. (9:15 a.m. CT/7:15 a.m. PT). Berkshire Hathaway shareholders will be able to ask questions through a lottery system. It will end around 4:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. CT/1:30 p.m. PT).
What should I listen out for?
Quite a bit. Last year, Buffett and Munger touched on the Sino-American trade war, reinforced their positive view of Wells Fargo, and touched on cryptocurrency.
Those topics are still relevant today–alongside newer topics that have come up in the last 12 months.
Kraft Heinz, which Berkshire is invested in, hasn’t fared so well under a tough cost-cutting directive. In February, Buffett told CNBC that he had overpaid in a deal 2015 that created the food giant. The comments came days after Kraft Heinz took a $15.4 billion writedown on several assets and slashed dividends.
Berkshire Hathaway meanwhile recently inked a deal with Occidental Petroleum, offering $10 billion to help the firm acquire Anadarko Petroleum in return for preferred shares. While that deal looks to be straight out of Buffett’s financial crisis playbook, hislieutenants look to be exploring new areas.
In fall 2018, Todd Combs, an investment manager at Berkshire, orchestrated two deal in which Berkshire Hathaway bought $600 million worth of shares in two emerging market fintechs: India’s Paytm and StoneCo. In the past, Buffett has declined to comment directly on that move.
In the past, Buffett has tended to focus on large U.S. companies, and only recently began buying shares in tech firms. Though Buffett often said he didn’t understand the tech businesses, the company is now invested in Apple, and previously held shares of IBM.
Investors will be also be watching closely for clues about what Berkshire may be planning to do with its $112 billion stockpile of cash.
When is the next meeting?
The firm’s next annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020.