I’m shocked by Buffett’s Berkshire making a bet on Teva


CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday that he was shocked by Berkshire Hathaway‘s disclosure of holdings in generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical.

“I regard Teva as a very second-rate generic company that’s trying to be better run,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.”

Cramer said he was trying to develop a thesis as to how Berkshire’s Warren Buffett, Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos and J.P. Morgan‘s Jamie Dimon could use the generic drugmaker in their endeavor to lower drug prices.

The three announced a venture to cut health-care costs and improve services for their U.S. employees late last month.

“That is a coalition that could rely on generics to bring down pricing,” said Cramer, host of CNBC’s “Mad Money.” “I don’t think the tie-in necessarily fits, but it is amazing that Warren Buffett goes for what I largely regard as the worst of the worst.”

The billionaire investor Buffett “does not approach any large buy lightly,” Cramer added.

Teva Pharmaceutical declined to comment on Cramer’s remarks.

On Wednesday, a quarterly filing showed Berkshire took a $358 million stake in Teva as of the end of the fourth quarter, sending the drugmaker’s stock soaring Wednesday and more than 8 percent Thursday.

Teva is working on a comeback amid price erosion and fierce competition.

In a note to clients, Raymond James analyst Elliot Wilbur suggested that the disclosure by the Oracle of Omaha’s conglomerate of a stake in the drugmaker was rare for “esteemed investors,” but added the billionaire could have done so as part of his mission to lower drug prices.

“Drug costs continue to escalate, Trump is all over prices, and Teva, along with the rest of the generics industry, is part of the solution and not the problem,” Wilbur said Wednesday.

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