My firm has bought 1st Amazon shares, says Buffett

Philanthropist Warren Buffett at the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration at Pier 60

Results excluded operating earnings tied to Berkshire's 26.7 percent stake in Kraft Heinz Co because the food company has not released its own audited quarterly results, Buffett told reporters before the annual meeting.

"I'm a card-carrying capitalist", Buffett said.

GEICO, the USA auto insurer known for its mascot, a green, British-accented gecko, was one of Buffett's first big moves. The news led to Amazon shares surge 2.3 per cent in the pre-market trade on Friday.

Buffett, whose 54-year investment career has made him one of the richest men in the world, has previously hailed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and last year Berkshire announced a joint healthcare venture with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase. Buffett has repeatedly praised Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos in the past. Previous year he dumped the last of his stake in IBM, blaming some of the troubles at the company on Amazon.

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The Berkshire Hathaway 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting kicked off early Saturday morning with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger delivering welcome statements.

Buffett's assistants did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Although Buffett has always been a fan of Amazon, he has never bought shares of Amazon. One exception was International Business Machines Corp. Approaching $1 trillion valuation once more, Apple stock is up more than 32% this year. His US$10 billion investment in the computer giant in 2011 was a curiosity for Berkshire Hathaway and it did not end well.

We spoke to folks at Brooks Shoes, who showed off its footwear designed for shareholders, which happen to be the same ones they gave Warren Buffett. On February 14, the entire FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Netflix) pack closed with losses despite the NASDAQ Composite (QQQ) closing in the green. Knowing this, a headline that Berkshire Hathaway was buying shares in Amazon would understandably generate interest in the markets.

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