Buffett's company posts nearly US$50b loss in Q1 amid COVID-19
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Saturday reported a net loss of nearly US$50 billion in the first quarter amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The net lost totaled US$49.75 billion in the first quarter, or US$30,653 per Class A share and US$20.44 per Class B share, compared with a net earning of US$21.66 billion a year ago, Berkshire said in a news release.
The first-quarter operating earnings rose to US$5.87 billion from US$5.55 billion, it added.
"As efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in the second half of March and continued through April, most of our businesses were negatively affected, with the effects to date ranging from relatively minor to severe," the release said.
Berkshire has taken "necessary" actions to mitigate the economic losses due to lower "consumer demand for products and services," it said, adding that the company could not "reliably predict" when its many businesses would return to normal or when consumers would resume their former buying habits.
Berkshire, a US multinational conglomerate holding company, based in Omaha, Nebraska, was founded by legendary investor Buffett.