Today, the Berkshire Hathaway 2008 Annual report came out. According to the Annual Report, the current book-value of Berkshire is $70,530.00 (BRK closed at $78,600). I found the most interesting item in the annual report to be on page 93. I believe Buffett in his own way is telling everyone that Berkshire Hathaway is cheap!!!! You be the judge.
Starting with the last sentence in the third paragraph down from the top on page 93:
"Now, our book value far understates Berkshire's intrinsic value, a point true because many of the businesses we control are worth much more than their carrying value.
Inadequate though they are in telling the story, we give you Berkshire's book-value figures because they today serve as a rough, albeit significantly understated, tracking measure for Berkshire's intrinsic value. In other words, the percentage change in book value in any given year is likely to be reasonably close to that year's change in intrinsic value."
Well, I believe this is as close as Buffett is ever going to come to telling investors that his company's stock is cheap!!!! Berkshire Hathaway trading at a 10% premium to book-value suggests that Buffett sees its "intrinsic value" or true value as he says "far" higher than its current level for it is "significantly understated". I believe it there is one thing Buffett can do it is calculate the intrinsic value of companies and I would bet he is the best at calculating it for his own company.
What do the other Gurufocus All-Stars think?
By the way, Buffett put the emphasis on the word- far, not me. Look it up. The report is here: www.berkshirehathaway.com
Happy investing to all.