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Warren Buffett on Saturday lamented his inability to find big companies to buy, and said his goal is to make "one or more huge acquisitions" of non-insurance businesses to bolster results at his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett's just released his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, and it included a list of the biggest stock investments held by the company.

In January, Buffett, 87, narrowed down the list of people who could replace him to two veteran Berkshire executives, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain. He also stepped down from the board of food and drinks giant Kraft Heinz on Friday but was tight-lipped on succession yesterday. He noted, however, that only $36 billion came from Berkshire's business operations.

Berkshire's cash pile swelled to $116 billion from $109 billion in the third quarter.

The problem facing Berkshire, whose last major acquisition was a $32 billion deal to buy Precision Castparts in 2015, is that prices are not cheap and competition from other buyers, such as private equity firms, is stiff, says Pan.

Berkshire Hathaway has a broad financial reach. Equity holdings include Apple, Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola.

It's important to remember that even Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B) hasn't been immune to significant swings in its stock price either.

Book value, Buffett's favorite measure of value, is the total amount a company would be worth if it liquidated its assets and paid back all its liabilities.

Previous year was another good one for Berkshire shareholders, as the company's "A" shares rose almost 22%, vs. a gain of 19.4% for the S&P 500, a broad stock market index. Over the past 53 years, Berkshire has grown its per-share book value at a 19.1% rate compounded annually. "But 2017 was far from standard: A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire". And sometimes I will make expensive mistakes. "Buffett doesn't dwell very long on the politics", Smead said.

Warren Buffett handily won the bet he entered against hedge funds in 2007.

Kraft Heinz Co said on Friday billionaire investor Warren Buffett has made a decision to retire from the company's board following the end of his term in April to reduce travel commitments.

"I want to quickly acknowledge that in any upcoming day, week or even year, stocks will be riskier - far riskier - than short-term US bonds".