Is Warren Buffett Ready to Use His Elephant Gun Again?

November 7, 2016 3:53 PM EST

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With its quarterly results Friday, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) disclosed it has a record $85 billion of cash on hand, up $13 billion from the $72 billion at the end of 2015. This suggests to analysts at Barclays that Mr. Buffett has about $60 billion immediately deployable for acquisitions. As would be expected, this has the rumor mill buzzing.

Buffett's hometown paper, Omaha World-Herald, recently speculated that with the money Buffett & Co. could buy Norfolk Southern Railway (NYSE: NSC), Dr Pepper/Snapple (NYSE: DPS) and the Kroger (NYSE: KR)... or Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR), Principal Financial Group (NYSE: PFG) and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PFX)... or Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) and AutoZone (NYSE: AZO).

Other companies that have been mentioned in the past as Buffett targets include:

  • General Mills (NYSE: GIS)
  • McCormick & Co. (NYSE: MKC)
  • J. M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM)
  • Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU)
  • BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA)
  • Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL)
  • Kellogg (NYSE: K)

It is anyone's guess when Buffett will strike, but with that much cash on the books it will likely be sooner rather than later.

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