Monday, May 3, 2010

American Conglomerates

1. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha,

Nebraska, U.S., that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. The

Company averaged an annual growth in book value of 20.3% to its shareholders for the

last 44 years, while employing large amounts of capital, and minimal debt.

Warren Buffett is the company's chairman and CEO. Buffett has used the "float"

provided by Berkshire Hathaway's insurance operations (a policyholder's money which it

holds temporarily until claims are paid out) to finance his investments. In the early part of

his career at Berkshire, he focused on longterm

investments in publicly quoted stocks,

but more recently he has turned to buying whole companies. Berkshire now owns a

diverse range of businesses including candy production, retail, home furnishings,

encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, jewelry sales, newspaper publishing; manufacture

and distribution of uniforms; manufacture, import and distribution of footwear; as

well as several regional electric and gas utilities.

2. Dell Inc.

Dell, Inc. is a multinational technology

corporation that develops, manufactures, sells,

and supports personal computers and other


products. Based in Round

Rock, Texas, Dell employs more than 76,500

people worldwide as of 2009.

Dell grew during the 1980s and 1990s to become

(for a time) the largest seller of PCs and servers.

As of 2008 it held the second spot in computersales

within the industry behind HewlettPackard.

The company currently sells personal

computers, servers, data storage devices,

network switches, software, and computer

peripherals. Dell also sells HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players and other

electronics built by other manufacturers.


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In 2006, Fortune magazine ranked Dell as the 25thlargest

company in the Fortune 500

list, 8th on its annual "Top 20" list of the mostadmired

companies in the United States. In

2007 Dell ranked 34th and 8th respectively on the equivalent lists for the year. A 2006

publication identified Dell as one of 38 highperformance

companies in the S&P 500

which had consistently outperformed

the market over the previous 15 years.

3. General Electric

The General Electric Company, or GE, is a multinational

American technology and services conglomerate

incorporated in the State of New York. In 2009, Forbes

ranked GE as the world's largest company. The company

has 323,000 employees around the world.

GE's divisions include GE Capital (including GE

Commercial Finance and GE Money and GE Consumer

Finance), GE Technology Infrastructure (including GE

Aviation, the former Smiths Aerospace and GE

Healthcare), GE Energy Infrastructure, and NBC

Universal, an entertainment company.

Through these businesses, GE participates in a wide variety of markets including the

generation, transmission and distribution of electricity (e.g. Nuclear, gas and solar),

lighting, industrial automation, medical imaging equipment, motors, railway locomotives,

aircraft jet engines, and aviation services. It cofounded

and is 80% owner of NBC

Universal, the National Broadcasting Company. Through GE Commercial Finance, GE

Consumer Finance, GE Equipment Services, and GE Insurance it offers a range of

financial services as well. It has a presence in over 100 countries. GE gauges to control a

railway locomotive.

Since over half of GE's revenue is derived from financial services, it is arguably a

financial company with a manufacturing arm. It is also one of the largest lenders in

countries other than the United States, such as Japan. Even though the first wave of

conglomerates (such as ITT Corporation, LingTemcoVought,

Tenneco, etc) fell by the

wayside by the mid1980s,

in the late 1990s, another wave (consisting of Westinghouse,

Tyco, and others) tried and failed to emulate GE's success.

It was announced in May 4, 2008 that GE would auction off its appliances business for an

expected sale of $5–8 billion.

The Finnish RFI filter firm DICRO Oy was founded in 1987 and bought out an older rival

RFI filter firm named GE Procond Oy on February 13, 2006, which was renamed to

Procond Oy and until then part of GE, but now may be sold off too.


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4. HewlettPackard


Company, commonly

referred to as HP, is a technology

corporation headquartered in Palo Alto,

California, United States. HP has its

United States offices at the former old

Compaq Campus in unincorporated

Harris County, Texas, Latin America

offices in MiamiDade

County, Florida,

U.S., Europe offices in Geneva, and AsiaPacific

offices in Singapore. HP is the

largest technology company in the world

and operates in nearly every country. HP specializes in developing and manufacturing

computing, storage, and networking hardware, software and services. Major product lines

include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as

a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. Other product lines, including

electronic test equipment and systems, medical electronic equipment, solid state

components and instrumentation for chemical analysis were spun off as Agilent

Technologies in 1999.

HP markets its products to households, small to medium size businesses and enterprises

both directly, via online distribution, consumerelectronics

and officesupply


software partners and major technology vendors.

HP has successful lines of printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, PDAs, servers,

workstation computers, and computers for home and small business use computers; many

of the computers came from the 2002 merger with Compaq. HP today promotes itself as

supplying not just hardware and software, but also a full range of services to design,

implement and support IT infrastructure.

The three business segments: Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS), HP Services (HPS),

and HP Software are structured beneath the broader Technology Solutions Group (TSG).

5. Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation is a multinational computer technology

corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports

a wide range of software products for computing devices.

Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its most

profitable products are the Microsoft Windows operating

system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.


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The company was founded to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800.

Microsoft rose to dominate the home computer operating system market with MSDOS


the mid1980s,

followed by the Windows line of operating systems. Its products have all

achieved nearubiquity

in the desktop computer market. One commentator notes that

Microsoft's original mission was "a computer on every desk and in every home, running

Microsoft software." Microsoft possesses footholds in other markets, with assets such as

the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta

multimedia encyclopedia. The company also markets both computer hardware products

such as the Microsoft mouse as well as home entertainment products such as the Xbox,

Xbox 360, Zune and MSN TV.

Microsoft reorganized into seven core business groups—each an independent financial

entity—in April 2002. Later, on September 20, 2005, Microsoft announced a

rationalization of its original seven business groups into the three core divisions that exist

today: the Windows Client, MSN and Server and Tool groups were merged into the

Microsoft Platform Products and Services Division; the Information Worker and

Microsoft Business Solutions groups were merged into the Microsoft Business Division;

and the Mobile and Embedded Devices and Home and Entertainment groups were

merged into the Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division.

Microsoft's flagship product is the Windows operating system. It has been produced in

many versions, including Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000,

Windows Me, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Microsoft Visual Studio is the company's set of programming tools and compilers.

Microsoft offers a suite of server software, titled Windows Server System. Other server

products include Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Small Business

Server and Microsoft BizTalk Server.

The Microsoft Business Division produces Microsoft Office, which is the company's line

of office software.

The company produces MSN TV, a televisionbased

Internet appliance. Microsoft sells

computer games that run on Windows PCs, including titles such as Age of Empires,

Halo and the Microsoft Flight Simulator series. It produces a line of reference works that

include encyclopedias and atlases, under the name Encarta.

The Company established a set of certification programs to recognize individuals who

have expertise in its software and solutions. Similar to offerings from Cisco, Sun

Microsystems, Novell, IBM, and Oracle Corporation.


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6. Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble Co. is a Fortune

500, American Multinational

Corporation headquartered in

Cincinnati, Ohio, that manufactures

a wide range of consumer goods.

As of 2008, P&G is the 8th largest

corporation in the world by market

capitalization and 14th largest US

Company by profit. It is 10th in

Fortune's Most Admired Companies

list (as of 2007). P&G is credited

with many business innovations

including brand management and

the soap opera.

According to the Nielsen Company, in 2007 P&G spent more on U.S. advertising than

any other company; the $2.62 billion spent by P&G is almost twice as much as that spent

by General Motors, the next company on the Nielsen list. P&G was named 2008

Advertiser of the Year by Cannes International Advertising Festival. Billion dollar

brands it has are Ariel (a brand of laundry detergent/liquid available in numerous forms

and scents), Actonel (a brand of the osteoporosis drug risedronate comarketed

by SanofiAventis),

Crest (a brand of toothpaste), Gillette (a safety razor manufacturer), Head &

Shoulders , Tide , Gillette, Duracell etc.

P&G Productions: Procter & Gamble produced and sponsored the first radio soap operas

in the 1930s .

7. Time Warner

Time Warner Inc. is the world's largest media and entertainment conglomerate,

headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. ( Fact

Sheet Page) Formerly three separate companies (and owns the assets of a fourth, Turner

Broadcasting System, Inc., acquired by a preAOL

merger TW in 1996): Warner

Communications, Inc. and Time Inc. before the TimeWarner

merger in 1990 and

America Online, Inc. before its purchase of Time Warner in 2001 has created the current

Time Warner, with major operations in film, television, publishing, Internet service and

telecommunications. Among its subsidiaries are AOL, New Line Cinema, Time Inc.,

HBO, Turner Broadcasting System, The CW Television Network,,

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Kids' WB, The CW4Kids, Cartoon Network, Adult

Swim, CNN, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. Games.


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Terra Firma Capital Partners is likely to buy a 10% Stake in TW, since it would buy all

the remaining rights and stakes of Time Warner in Warner Music Group and merge it

with EMI.

Time Warner Inc. owns several large properties in New York City; certain buildings in

the Rockefeller Center complex and adjacent office towers house its main offices; one of

which houses a CNN news studio. In late 2003, Time Warner finished construction of a

new twintower

complex, designed to serve as additional office space, facing Columbus

Circle on the southwestern edge of Central Park. Originally called the AOL Time Warner

Center, the 755foot

(230 m), 55floor


property was renamed Time Warner

Center when the company itself was renamed.

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