Warren Buffett’s Berkshire swings to massive $50 billion net loss after coronavirus pummels stock investments

On Saturday, Warren Buffett, reported a massive loss of $50 billion, in his company Berkshire Hathaway, as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the common stock investments. 

Berkshire suffered a $54.52 billion loss from investments, primarily common stocks in the first quarter. The loss was $30,653 per Class A share, and it totaled to $49.75 billion. Buffett claimed he considered the quarterly operating profit to show better performance, with a 6% rise to $5.87 billion, which is equivalent to $3,624 per Class A share. 

A year earlier, when there was no COVID-19 pandemic, the net earnings totaled up to $21.66 billion, or $13,209 per share. 

Berkshire is still to report its unrealized stock losses and gains with earnings, due to an accounting rule. Buffett said that he believed this rule to be unnecessary and added that the rule caused swings in Berkshire’s net results. 

Buffett’s Berkshire Unable to Find Large Companies To Buy Its stocks, For Four Years Now

The stocks loaded up as the company did not have any big buyer, leaving Berkshire with $137.3 billion of cash. Along with The Standard & Poor’s 500 slides of 20% in the first quarter, there were other steeper losses. The losses were incurred by four airlines, which are American, United, American Express, and Wells Fargo. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Berkshire’s operating business, like most of commercial America. Its retail business, See’s Candies, had to be temporarily shut down. 

Many of the businesses under Berkshire have been affected by the global pandemic. The losses range from severe to minor. The revenues of the businesses have also slowed down considerably for April. 

The hit due to the coronavirus has made Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, say in a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, that certain Berkshire businesses might need to close in totality.