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Buffett's Bucket List Buys: The Oracle Making Unexpected Plays Late In The Game

Wayne Duggan

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s (NYSE: BRK-B)(NYSE: BRK-A) recent investment in Sirius XM Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: SIRI) shows that, even at age 86, Warren Buffett is still capable of a surprise or two. Here’s a look at some of Buffett’s more surprising investments in recent years and how they have performed.

Radio

Buffett recently reported a brand new stake in Sirius XM. The move caught some followers off guard because the company has only been profitable for a few years now and holds $5.8 billion in debt on its books. However, shares are already up roughly 13 percent from their Q4 2016 average.

Airlines

Ever since Buffett invested in US Air Group in 1989, he has been critical of the airline model. That’s why the Oracle of Omaha took the market by surprise in the past two quarters by investing heavily in Southwest Airlines Co (NYS: LUV), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL), American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL) and United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL). The four airline stocks are all up 25-60 percent since Buffett invested.

Related Link: Warren Buffett's Birthday: A Look Back At 75 Years Of Investing Genius

Technology

Back in 2000, Buffett told investors, “Technology is something we don’t understand, so we don’t invest in it.”

Since then, Buffett’s attitude seems to have changed. Berkshire took a massive stake in International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) back in 2011 and recently disclosed a large new position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) as well. IBM shares are down slightly from where they were when Buffett first bought, but he is already up 36 percent on Apple.

Newspapers

In 2012 and 2013, Buffett took investors by surprise when he announced Berkshire had acquired 28 daily newspapers for $344 million. This time, at least, shareholders were right to be skeptical.

“Most newspapers, the transition to the internet so far hasn’t worked in digital,” Buffett admitted last year. “The revenues don’t come in.”

In a letter out Saturday morning, Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway's net profit rose 15 percent in Q4.

Image credit: Fortune Live Media, Flickr

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