Continued from page 1

Mr. Buffett praised all those managers in his letter Saturday.

Mr. Buffett has said previously that the company has three outstanding internal candidates for CEO, but he has refused to name them.

Mr. Buffett also reminded investors that Berkshire has little chance of matching its past stellar performance because the company is so large. Mr. Buffett’s preferred measure of Berkshire’s performance is the growth in its book value, which is a calculation of the company’s assets minus its liabilities. Mr. Buffett said Berkshire’s book value grew 13 percent to $95,453 in 2010. The S&P 500, which Berkshire joined last year, gained 15.1 percent last year when dividends are factored in.

But Mr. Buffett says he’s looking for more big acquisitions and other profitable ways to use the $38 billion cash Berkshire had at year’s end.

“We could get lucky and find an opportunity to use some of our cash hoard at decent returns. That day can’t come too soon for me: To update Aesop, a girl in a convertible is worth five in the phone book,” Mr. Buffett said.

Berkshire owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, including clothing, furniture, jewelry and corporate jet firms, but its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company’s net income. It also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Berkshire has more than 260,000 employees worldwide but only 21 at its headquarters in Omaha.