Motley Fool Staff ( the_motley_fool ) Dec 14, 2016 at 8:34AM Berkshire Hathaway ( NYSE:BRK-A ) ( NYSE:BRK-B ) surprised the market last month by announcing it had invested in four of the largest airline companies -- seemingly counter to CEO Warren Buffett's long-standing and well-documented distaste for the industry. In this clip from Industry Focus: Industrials , Sean O'Reilly and Adam Levine-Weinberg explain what changed in the airline industry that made Berkshire Hathaway want to invest in it, what individual investors should make of the firm's decision, and how individual investors might want to buy into the industry in light of Buffett's investments. Lastly, they also name a few smaller companies with exciting potential for growth that investors might want to take a look at. A full transcript follows the video. This podcast was recorded on Dec. 1, 2016. Sean O'Reilly: Talk to me about valuations. I'm a return on capital equity guy. Talk to me about that stuff. Adam Levine-Weinberg: In the past few years, you've seen a lot of focus in the airline industry on return on invested capital as a key metric that airlines should be thinking about. All the airlines have different targets, different definitions of return on invested capital, but they're basically attempting to keep that at about 15%, which is a really strong number, and something you'd never seen before in the airline industry.
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But the move by ground staff in Islamabad prompted hoots of incredulity once it was established the images were genuine and had not been photo-shopped. A Pakistan International Airlines spokesman was swift to point out the goat had been slaughtered by employees on their own initiative and the airline management had no hand in it. The Dawn newspaper covered the event in a front page story headlined " PIA: on a wing and a prayer ". The headline of the Express Tribune newspaper read: "PIA lampooned for bizarre goat slaughter". The Express Tribune commented that the " ritual sacrifice shows fear besetting the PIA employees associated with flight operations, especially those assigned to ATRs". Comments on social media were mixed - while many mocked PIA for indulging in superstition, others defended the slaughter as a practice endorsed by Islam. "Good move. Fresh mutton on flight menu," joked Nadeem Farooq Paracha, a Dawn blogger and columnist, in a tweet. Another journalist, Fasi Zaka, tweeted: "PIA sacrifices a black goat before resuming ATR services, they take their historical nickname 'Please Inform Allah' (PIA) very seriously." Television anchor Ejaz Haider tweeted: "When Charles Perrow was working on his theory of normal accidents, he totally missed out on 'kala bakra' [black goat] as a hedge against accidents." Meanwhile, one Twitter user by the name of MisBis spoke for many when she wrote: "There's nothing wrong in giving Sadqa [sacrificial offering] Sadqa bari balao se bachata hai [it hedges against many troubles] stop making it a joke". PIA had 11 ATR-42 planes in its fleet - the one that crashed in the Havelian region on 7 December killed all those on board. Days later, the pilot of another ATR had to abort take-off due to a malfunction in one of the engines, leading PIA to ground the rest of its ATRs for tests.
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