Lessons on sharing wealth and knowledge from Buffett's star stock pickers

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"I'm a broken record on this subject but since the fall of 2009, literally, it's been about 2% a year", Buffett said ahead Berkshire Hathaway's much anticipated annual shareholder's meeting Saturday.

Buffett repeated his "I hate cash" refrain during an CNBC interview on Friday - but for a man who hates it, the self-styled king of compound interest holds a lot of it.

"We're taking time to make sure we invest in the right places and make sure we get the kind of margin high-value profile we're looking for".

"Watching someone like (Buffett) with strong command on details of the economy and Berkshire's operations is very impressive", said Meyer Shields, a Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst who rates Berkshire "market perform". The company has been focused on new businesses, like cloud computing and artificial intelligence, to help revenue growth.

Over the last half-century, Buffett has taken a failing textile company and turned it into a legendary conglomerate.

Buffett's company reported a 1.2% drop in income from investments through the insurance business, which reached $908 million in the three months through March.

Apple is struggling for gains on the stock market today, a day after reporting tepid earnings for the second fiscal quarter but significantly raising its dividends and buybacks.

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While Mr Buffett is known for sticking with stocks like Coca-Cola for decades, he's not wedded to old favorites when circumstances change.

Berkshire first bought IBM in 2011.

Recently analysts working for various investment brokerages have changed their ratings and price targets on shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A).

The rare mea culpa not only sent IBM stock down 2.5 percent on Friday, to $155.05 per share, but also motivated Buffett buffs to dig up what initially attracted him to the aging tech giant.

Berkshire and Buffett's assistant did not immediately respond to telephone and email requests for comment.

Finally, in the context of Buffett's assertions that most investment managers can't add value over simply tracking a stock market index, isn't Berkshire's story itself a rebuttal to that philosophy?

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Warren Buffett's company reported a 27 percent drop in its first-quarter profit largely because of a big gain it booked a year ago in connection with two acquisitions. "But we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever".

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