Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Warren Buffet Cornering Train AND Coal Shipment Markets?

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett, left, has purchased Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad for $26 billion. It is the largest acquisition of Buffett’s career.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF is one of four transcontinental freight railways in the United States, and the second-largest behind Union Pacific. BNSF’s railroad covers much of the Midwestern United States and ships large quantities of coal, grain, and containers annually.

Buffet's purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad gives him America's largest coal shipping system. Buffet is betting that coal will still be king for producing electricity. Coal is currently used to produce 50% of America's electricity.

Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s holding company, has a history of buying well-managed companies with unique competitive advantages. Berkshire currently owns GEICO insurance, MidAmerican Energy, Fruit of the Loom, See’s Candies, and holds minority ownership stakes in other companies such as Moody’s Corp., American Express Co., and The Coca-Cola Co. (The Epoch Times, 11/3/09)

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