In his 50 years at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Warren Buffett has transformed a failing textile company into a sprawling conglomerate that has vastly outperformed most of the rest of corporate America. In the 84-year-old's annual shareholder letter released on Saturday, Buffett said Berkshire has grown so large - 751,000 times its original net worth per share - that the future pace of gains "will not come close" to those of the past. "The numbers have become too big," Buffett wrote. Within 10 to 20 years, Buffett said, Berkshire's girth could require whoever then runs the Omaha, Nebraska-based company to consider steps he has resisted, such as paying dividends or conducting "massive" share repurchases.
Herbalife Ltd (HLF.N) cut the pay of Chief Executive Michael Johnson 36 percent for 2014 after the nutrition and weight loss company failed to meet performance goals set for him and other top executives, according to a securities filing on Friday. Herbalife said Johnson, who is also chairman, received total compensation of $6.73 million last year, down from $10.5 million in 2013, mainly because he did not receive the incentive plan compensation of $3.7 million he got the prior year. Herbalife has been closely watched since activist investor William Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme in 2012, while rival investor Carl Icahn became the company's biggest owner in 2013. Herbalife, being investigated by state and federal regulators, has denied Ackman's charges.
The U.S. stock market has been quiet this week - too quiet. Wall Street has traded in a tight range of late, with both volatility and trading volumes drying up as the earnings season winds down and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's recent Congressional testimony delivered no surprises. About 238,000 jobs are expected to have been added in February, according to the non-farm payroll report that will be released on Friday, down from the 257,000 added in January. "Economic data will be the biggest driver of market moves over the next month, and the key one is the jobs report," said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Asset Management.