Warren Buffett's company reports Q1 loss of $50 bln

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the 2019 annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2019. (Photo: AFP)
  • Agence France-Presse
  • May 3, 2020 9:53 AM

Washington, United States | Hard-hit by the market rout surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of Warren Buffett, has reported first-quarter net losses of nearly $50 billion, it reported Saturday.

The celebrated billionaire, considered one of the world's savviest investors, said a better measure of the company's performance was its operating earnings, which exclude investments and are less subject to sharp fluctuations.

By that measure, Berkshire Hathaway saw growth to $5.9 billion from $5.55 billion a year earlier. 

The brutal drop in the net -- to a loss of $49.75 billion from a profit last year of $21.7 billion -- resulted primarily from the drop in value of its wide-ranging portfolio of investments amid fears over the economic impact of the global pandemic.

A year earlier, the conglomerate reported profits of $15.5 billion.

Buffett had predicted that a 2018 accounting rule would create "wild and capricious swings" in the company's reported profits or losses.

© Agence France-Presse

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