Warren Buffett’s $5 Billion Bank of America Bonanza: Thank You, President Trump

The ‘Oracle of Omaha,’ often critical of the 45th president, has made hay in the past few months

Financial shares have been among the best stock-market performers since the surprise election victory on Nov. 8. Among those, Bank of America has been the standout: the stock’s more-than-40% rise since Election Day is the best among the biggest U.S. banks and is 15 percentage points higher than the gain for the KBW Nasdaq Bank index.

.. The Bank of America windfall is thanks to a savvy investment Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.made in the bank in August 2011. At the time, the bank’s shares were foundering and markets were questioning whether Bank of America would have to raise additional capital lest it sink under what some feared was a looming deluge of mortgage-related legal claims.

 .. The terms were expensive for Bank of America: The preferred stock paid a chunky 6% annual dividend, or $300 million a year, and if the bank wanted to repurchase the shares it would have to pay Mr. Buffett a 5% premium.
.. The real sweetener, though, was that Mr. Buffett also received warrants to purchase 700 million shares of common stock at $7.14 apiece at any time over the next 10 years. Although this was roughly where the stock was trading at the time, some investors groused this was overly generous to Mr. Buffett
.. The halo effect of Mr. Buffett’s investment helped to quell some concerns around the stock, which rose.