Buffett's Firm Reports $44B Loss but Its Businesses Thrive
Berkshire said Saturday that a largely unrealized $53 billion decline in the value of its investments forced it to report a loss of nearly $44 billion, or $29,754 per Class A share.
That is down from $28.1 billion, or $18,488 per Class A share, a year ago.
The stock prices of three of Berkshire's biggest investments — Apple,
American Express and Bank of America — all fell significantly during the second quarter.
But those stocks have all rebounded during the third quarter, meaning Berkshire's portfolio is already worth more than it was at the end of the quarter.
Buffett has long said he believes Berkshire's operating earnings are a better measure of the company's performance because they exclude investment gains and losses, which can vary widely quarter to quarter.
By that measure, Berkshire's earnings were up significantly to $9.28 billion, or $6,312.49 per Class A share from last year's $6.69 billion, or $4,399.92 per Class A share.
Berkshire said it was sitting on $105.4 billion cash at the end of the quarter, which was little changed from the $106 billion it reported at the end of the first quarter.
That signaled Buffett wasn't buying nearly as many stocks during the second quarter although it has reported investing several billion in Occidental Petroleum.