Buffett's Stake in Satellite Radio?
Can you imagine Warren Buffett cruising down the streets of Omaha blasting satellite radio? Or perhaps imagine him cuddling up at night to a Nook? While he may not partake in the latest technological advancements, Berkshire Hathaway (NYS: BRK.B) thinks consumers will. With the most recent disclosure of Berkshire Hathaway investments, Buffett's company picked up 1.7 million shares in Liberty Media (NAS: LMCA) . Should you pick up your own shares of Liberty Media?
A shelf of books
Liberty invested $204 million in Barnes & Noble last August, which gave it a 17% stake in the book retailer. Liberty originally wanted to buy the company for its Nook e-reader, which captured 5% market share in 2011 with its higher-end tablet version. Barnes & Noble has been thinking about spinning off the Nook but has yet to make any decision.
A spectrum of radio
Liberty also invested $530 million in Sirius in 2009, and owns 41% of the satellite radio provider. This deal was originally done to help Sirius avoid bankruptcy, and recently, Liberty looked into adding to its stake in Sirius. Over half a million people subscribed to Sirius last quarter, taking the total subscribers to over 21 million, just 3 million subscribers shy of Netflix.
Entertainment all around
Liberty also owns Starz, the premium movie channel, outright, along with the Atlanta Braves baseball team. And it owns 21% of Live Nation (NYS: LYV) , the concert and event promoter. Last year there was speculation of Liberty taking Live Nation private to help restructure after its last quarter saw declining revenue growth from the year prior, but the stock itself is up almost 30% on the year backed by the recent news of Madonna's 2012 world tour selling out most shows instantly.
What's Buffett thinking?
As Bloomberg reports, this investment idea probably comes from Ted Weschler, hired last year after winning an auction to have dinner with Buffett two years in a row. In Weschler's previous hedge fund career, he had invested in Liberty Media, and as Buffett transitions decisions to new management of Berkshire Hathaway, employees like Weschler will exert greater influence on Berkshire's money. Followers of Berkshire's investments will see less traditional Buffett investments, such as a piece of new technologies like the Nook and satellite radio.
Should you follow Berkshire's move?
Liberty Media does give shareholders interest in a wide swath of entertainment providers, from books and baseball to satellite radio and the Material Girl. The company actively pursues potential investments and recently acquired a 5% stake in Ideiasnet, a Brazilian venture capital firm. I like the future prospects of Liberty Media, and I'm giving it a thumbs-up CAPScall.
If you're not as enthused about Liberty Media as I am, Buffett has a lot more companies on his radar. Check outone stockthat Buffett can't touch, but he'd love to get his hands on. It's revealed in the free report: "The Stocks Only the Smartest Investors Are Buying."
At the time this article was published Fool contributor Dan Newman is neither a Sirius XM subscriber, Nook owner, or Madonna ticket buyer. He also does not own any of the companies mentioned above. Follow him on Twitter @TMFHelloNewman.The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix and Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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