Berkshire is against tobacco ivestment but a board member will strike a deal with a Marijuana company let's hear the explanation behind this. I'm sure money didn't have anything to with this decision we all know smoking Marijuana is good for your health.
Berkshire only vastly out performs the market about 15 years down the road if you look at the charts. At 3 years the market actually outperforms the stock at 5 years Berkshire outperforms by about 2%. But when you get to the 15 plus year time frame Berkshire outperforms the market by 9 or 10%. By the market I'm talking about index funds. To make big money you have to hold it at least 15 years and you are better off keeping it longer than that. That being said the company is not growing like it use to. Operating profits were down 12% from last year. They have spent a lot of money on acquisitions with kraft heinz and precision castparts which probably has something to do with it to. I can say without a doubt that most of the managers are not nearly what they were 5 to 6 years ago.
Sure there was 40,000 people at the meeting and they made a profit, but last year there was 50,000 and operating profits were 12% higher. Not to mention a user brk_a on a auction website who said he was a representative of the company sold 1,600 of the 40,000 passes on a auction website for $5.00. So to say it is a shareholder meeting is a little more misleading information put out by the company not everyone in attendance was a shareholder.
I don't really see things getting that much worse. Coal markets can't get to much worse. No matter how much the democrats say they want clean energy it looks like oil is rebounding. I can guarantee you there will always be a market for oil. There will be times the market struggles. It has gone from 24 to 44 first four months of the year which will be hauled on the rails almost a double up. A record number of vehicles were sold in 2015 because of low gas prices. Guess what they need gas to run on which means there will be a demand for oil. Not saying railroads are a good investment because I don't think they are I don't like the rails at all but if you read a little bit there is a company that Berkshire loves that will profit from the rebound in oil and energy prices. It isn't psx either. I'm guessing coal shipments will decrease or stay the same. Auto transports on rails will decrease. Grain may be up on the rails due to a little higher commodity prices. But the transport of oil will increase quite a bit in the next I'd say two to five years. The transport of oil could actually double.
I don't see it happening. Warren would rather use his retained earnings to buy more shares of companies he sees as being good than pay out earnings to shareholders. He thinks he can do more for the stock owners investing the money buying more shares of other quality companies. In the long term that will be more profitable. He hasn't paid a dividend for the last 51 years he won't start now. I could see it happening down the road when the stock is struggling and in the 40 to 50 dollar range under new management just because someone will get impatient. That being said if it ever happens it is probably something that is a good 15 years down the road and maybe longer. The company is different now than when it first started it is much larger so I wouldn't say paying a dividend is a horrible idea. It's just that paying a dividend would change the make up of the company overall. It isn't what the founders believed in they think that buying stocks in quality companies will help grow Berkshires earnings more than distributing earnings to share holders. It is quite possible it wouldn't be the same company if it paid a dividend. The stock has struggled for a couple years but being right about 49 out of 51 years isn't to bad.
Also based on what you said in your post it sounds like you might have a stock split and dividend messed up. A 50/1 stock split is completely different than a company paying a dividend. If you have 10 shares of a 100 dollar stock and it splits 2 for 1 you will have 20 shares but the share price will only be half as much 50 dollars. Where as when a company pays a dividend they are paying out a fractional percent of earnings to shareholders. A stock split and a dividend are completely different things. You aren't going to get twice as many shares at half the price in a dividend payout. You will get a fractional percentage of the companies earnings paid to you by holding the stock.