On Saturday, February 23, multibillionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) released its fourth quarter of 2018 earnings report. The company lost about $25.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 as compared to $32.6 billion profit reported in the fourth quarter of 2017. Let’s take a quick look at the key highlights of Berkshire Hathaway’s fourth-quarter earnings report.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Berkshire reported a $10.31 loss per class B share as compared to $13.19 profit per class B share in the fourth quarter of 2017. For the full year 2018, the investment firm’s class B shareholders earned about $1.63 per share as compared to earnings of $18.22 per share in 2017.
In Berkshire’s fourth-quarter earnings report, Buffett didn’t forget to note that, “The amount of investment gains/losses in any given quarter is usually meaningless and delivers figures for net earnings per share that can be misleading to investors who have little or no knowledge of accounting rules.”
In the fourth quarter of 2018, the firm calculated its earnings based on the market value of its investments at the end of the quarter.
In the quarter ended December 2018, Berkshire Hathaway’s losses from investments stood at $27.6 billion, while it lost nearly $476 million in derivatives. Nonetheless, the firm’s operating earnings rose to $5.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 as compared to $3.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Apple (AAPL), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Coca-Cola (KO), American Express (AXP), US Bancorp (USB), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Moody’s (MCO), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and Goldman Sachs (GS) were some of the largest Berkshire Hathaway holdings (SPY) at the end of the December quarter.
Read on to the next part where we’ll discuss why Warren Buffett is still the king of investing despite recent quarterly losses.