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巴菲特致股东的封(2020)上

巴菲特致股东的封(2020)上


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BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.

伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司

To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.:

致伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司(Berkshire Hathaway Inc.)的股东:


Berkshire earned $42.5 billion in 2020 according to generally accepted accounting principles (commonly called “GAAP”). The four components of that figure are $21.9 billion of operating earnings, $4.9 billion of realized capital gains, a $26.7 billion gain from an increase in the amount of net unrealized capital gains that exist in the stocks we hold and, finally, an $11 billion loss from a write-down in the value of a few subsidiary and affiliate businesses that we own. All items are stated on an after-tax basis.

根据公认的会计原则(通常称为“ GAAP”),伯克希尔2020年的收入为425亿美元。该数字的四个组成部分是219亿美元的营业收入,49亿美元的已实现资本收益,267亿美元的收益来自我们所持股票中存在的未实现资本净收益的增加,最后是110亿美元的亏损减记我们拥有的一些子公司和联属企业的价值。所有项目均以税后基础列示。


Operating earnings are what count most, even during periods when they are not the largest item in our GAAP total. Our focus at Berkshire is both to increase this segment of our income and to acquire large and favorably-situated businesses. Last year, however, we met neither goal: Berkshire made no sizable acquisitions and operating earnings fell 9%. We did, though, increase Berkshire’s per-share intrinsic value by both retaining earnings and repurchasing about 5% of our shares.

营业收入是最重要的,即使它们不是我们GAAP总额中最大的时期也是如此。我们在伯克希尔的重点既是增加收入的这一部分,又是收购位置优越的大型企业。但是,去年,我们没有实现任何目标:伯克希尔没有进行任何大规模的收购,营业利润下降了9%。不过,我们确实通过保留收益和回购了大约5%的股份来提高了伯克希尔哈撒韦的每股内在价值。


The two GAAP components pertaining to capital gains or losses (whether realized or unrealized) fluctuate capriciously from year to year, reflecting swings in the stock market. Whatever today’s figures, Charlie Munger, my long-time partner, and I firmly believe that, over time, Berkshire’s capital gains from its investment holdings will be substantial.

与资本损益(已变现或未变现)有关的两个GAAP成分每年都在反复波动,反映了股票市场的波动。无论今天的数据如何,我的长期合伙人查理·芒格(Charlie Munger)都坚信,随着时间的流逝,伯克希尔从其投资中获得的资本收益将是可观的。


As I’ve emphasized many times, Charlie and I view Berkshire’s holdings of marketable stocks – at yearend worth $281 billion – as a collection of businesses. We don’t control the operations of those companies, but we do share proportionately in their long-term prosperity. From an accounting standpoint, however, our portion of their earnings is not included in Berkshire’s income. Instead, only what these investees pay us in dividends is recorded on our books. Under GAAP, the huge sums that investees retain on our behalf become invisible.

正如我多次强调的那样,查理和我将伯克希尔·哈撒韦持有的有价股票(截至年底价值2810亿美元)视为一系列业务。我们无法控制这些公司的运营,但我们会按比例分享其长期繁荣。但是,从会计角度来看,我们的部分收入未计入伯克希尔的收入。取而代之的是,只有这些被投资方向我们支付的股利才被记录在我们的账簿上。根据GAAP,被投资方代表我们保留的巨额资金变得无形。


What’s out of sight, however, should not be out of mind: Those unrecorded retained earnings are usually building value – lots of value – for Berkshire. Investees use the withheld funds to expand their business, make acquisitions, pay off debt and, often, to repurchase their stock (an act that increases our share of their future earnings). As we pointed out in these pages last year, retained earnings have propelled American business throughout our country’s history. What worked for Carnegie and Rockefeller has, over the years, worked its magic for millions of shareholders as well.

但是,不应该忘记什么:伯克希尔未记录的未分配利润通常是伯克希尔创造价值(很多价值)。被投资方使用预扣资金来扩大业务,进行收购,偿还债务,并经常回购股票(此举增加了我们在未来收益中所占的比重)。正如我们在去年的这些页面中所指出的那样,留存收益在整个美国历史上一直推动着美国业务的发展。多年来,为卡内基和洛克菲勒工作的公司也为数百万的股东发挥了魔力。


Of course, some of our investees will disappoint, adding little, if anything, to the value of their company by retaining earnings. But others will over-deliver, a few spectacularly. In aggregate, we expect our share of the huge pile of earnings retained by Berkshire’s non-controlled businesses (what others would label our equity portfolio) to eventually deliver us an equal or greater amount of capital gains. Over our 56-year tenure, that expectation has been met.

当然,我们的一些被投资人会失望的,通过保留收益来增加公司价值(如果有的话)。但是其他一些人则会超额投放。总体而言,我们预计伯克希尔哈撒韦非控制业务(其他将其标记为股票投资组合)所保留的巨额利润中所占的份额最终将为我们带来相等或更多的资本收益。在我们56年的任期内,这一期望已得到满足。


The final component in our GAAP figure – that ugly $11 billion write-down – is almost entirely the quantification of a mistake I made in 2016. That year, Berkshire purchased Precision Castparts (“PCC”), and I paid too much for the company.

GAAP数据的最终组成部分-丑陋的110亿美元减记-几乎完全是我在2016年犯下的错误的量化指标。那一年,伯克希尔购买了Precision Castparts“ PCC”),而我为公司付出了太多。


No one misled me in any way – I was simply too optimistic about PCC’s normalized profit potential. Last year, my miscalculation was laid bare by adverse developments throughout the aerospace industry, PCC’s most important source of customers.

没有人以任何方式误导我-我对PCC的正常化的利润潜力过于乐观。去年,我的错误估计被整个航空航天业(PCC最重要的客户来源)的不利发展所掩盖。


In purchasing PCC, Berkshire bought a fine company – the best in its business. Mark Donegan, PCC’s CEO, is a passionate manager who consistently pours the same energy into the business that he did before we purchased it. We are lucky to have him running things.

在收购PCC方面,伯克希尔哈撒韦公司收购了一家优秀公司-这是其业务中最好的。 PCC的首席执行官Mark Donegan是一位充满激情的经理,他一如既往地将自己的精力投入到我们收购该公司之前所做的工作中。我们很幸运能让他管理事情。


I believe I was right in concluding that PCC would, over time, earn good returns on the net tangible assets deployed in its operations. I was wrong, however, in judging the average amount of future earnings and, consequently, wrong in my calculation of the proper price to pay for the business.

我相信我的结论是正确的,即PCC将随着时间的推移,从其运营中部署的净有形资产中获得丰厚的回报。但是,在判断平均未来收入金额时,我是错误的,因此,在计算支付业务所需的适当价格时,我是错误的。


PCC is far from my first error of that sort. But it’s a big one.

PCC远非我犯的第一个那种错误。但这是一个大问题

 

Two Strings to Our Bow

弓的两根弦


Berkshire is often labeled a conglomerate, a negative term applied to holding companies that own a hodge-podge of unrelated businesses. And, yes, that describes Berkshire – but only in part. To understand how and why we differ from the prototype conglomerate, let’s review a little history.

伯克希尔哈撒韦通常被称为集团公司,这是一个负称,适用于拥有不相关业务杂货店的控股公司。而且,是的,它描述了伯克希尔·哈撒韦公司,但仅部分描述了这一点。要了解我们与原型企业集团之间的区别和原因,让我们回顾一下历史。


Over time, conglomerates have generally limited themselves to buying businesses in their entirety. That strategy, however, came with two major problems. One was unsolvable: Most of the truly great businesses had no interest in having anyone take them over. Consequently, deal-hungry conglomerateurs had to focus on so-so companies that lacked important and durable competitive strengths. That was not a great pond in which to fish.

随着时间的流逝,企业集团通常将自己局限于购买全部业务。但是,该策略存在两个主要问题。一个是无法解决的:大多数真正伟大的企业对让任何人接管它们都没有兴趣。因此,渴望交易的企业集团必须专注于缺乏重要而持久的竞争优势的马马虎虎的公司。那不是一个可以钓鱼的好池塘。


Beyond that, as conglomerateurs dipped into this universe of mediocre businesses, they often found themselves required to pay staggering “control” premiums to snare their quarry. Aspiring conglomerateurs knew the answer to this “overpayment” problem: They simply needed to manufacture a vastly overvalued stock of their own that could be used as a “currency” for pricey acquisitions. (“I’ll pay you $10,000 for your dog by giving you two of my $5,000 cats.”)

除此之外,随着大企业集团进入平庸的业务领域,他们常常发现自己需要支付惊人的控制保费来圈养他们的采石场。有抱负的企业集团知道这个超额支付问题的答案:他们只需要制造自己的大量被高估的股票,就可以将其用作高价收购的货币。 (我会给我5,000美元的猫中的两只,为您的狗支付10,000美元。


Often, the tools for fostering the overvaluation of a conglomerate’s stock involved promotional techniques and “imaginative” accounting maneuvers that were, at best, deceptive and that sometimes crossed the line into fraud. When these tricks were “successful,” the conglomerate pushed its own stock to, say, 3x its business value in order to offer the target 2x its value.

通常,助长集团股价高估的工具包括促销技巧和富有想象力的会计手段,这些手段充其量是欺骗性的,有时甚至会越过欺诈行为。当这些技巧成功时,这家企业集团将自己的股票推高到其业务价值的3倍,以使目标股价达到其价值的2倍。


Investing illusions can continue for a surprisingly long time. Wall Street loves the fees that deal-making generates, and the press loves the stories that colorful promoters provide. At a point, also, the soaring price of a promoted stock can itself become the “proof” that an illusion is reality.

投资幻想可能会持续很长时间。华尔街喜欢交易产生的费用,而媒体则喜欢丰富多彩的发起人提供的故事。同样,在某种程度上,经过提升的股票的飞涨价格本身也可以成为幻想成为现实的证据


Eventually, of course, the party ends, and many business “emperors” are found to have no clothes. Financial history is replete with the names of famous conglomerateurs who were initially lionized as business geniuses by journalists, analysts and investment bankers, but whose creations ended up as business junkyards.

最终,当然,聚会结束了,发现许多商业皇帝没有衣服。金融历史上充斥着着名的企业集团的名字,这些企业集团最初被新闻记者,分析师和投资银行家誉为商业天才,但后来被创造为商业垃圾场。


Conglomerates earned their terrible reputation.

大型企业赢得了可怕的声誉。

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Charlie and I want our conglomerate to own all or part of a diverse group of businesses with good economic characteristics and good managers. Whether Berkshire controls these businesses, however, is unimportant to us.

我和查理(Charlie)和我希望我们的集团拥有拥有良好经济特征和优秀管理者的多元化企业中的全部或部分。然而,伯克希尔是否控制这些业务对我们而言并不重要。


It took me a while to wise up. But Charlie – and also my 20-year struggle with the textile operation I inherited at Berkshire – finally convinced me that owning a non-controlling portion of a wonderful business is more profitable, more enjoyable and far less work than struggling with 100% of a marginal enterprise.

我花了一些时间才明智。但是查理以及我在伯克希尔继承的纺织业务20年的挣扎最终说服了我,拥有一家出色企业的非控股部分比挣扎100%的股权更赚钱,更愉快,工作更少。边缘企业。


For those reasons, our conglomerate will remain a collection of controlled and non-controlled businesses. Charlie and I will simply deploy your capital into whatever we believe makes the most sense, based on a company’s durable competitive strengths, the capabilities and character of its management, and price.

出于这些原因,我们的企业集团将仍然是受控和非受控业务的集合。查理和我将根据公司的持久竞争力,管理能力和价格以及价格,将您的资金投入我们认为最有意义的领域。


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