Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reports $1.58 billion loss

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Even an Oracle can have an off quarter.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported a $1.58 billion loss in the first quarter of 2022, a significant reversal from the nearly $5 billion gain it saw at the same period of 2021.

Berkshire, a legendary US company that owns a diverse array of brands including insurance provider Geico and See’s Candies, reported $5.4 billion in profits, off 53% of the $12 billion they netted last year.

“The amount of investment gains (losses) in any given quarter is usually meaningless and delivers figures for net earnings per share that can be extremely misleading to investors who have little or no knowledge of accounting rules,” Berkshire said in a Saturday press release brushing off the news.

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders walk by a video screen at the company’s annual meeting in Omaha on May 4, 2013.
REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Berkshire also unveiled new multi-billion dollar investments in HP and Occidental Petroleum. In March the company purchased insurance giant Alleghany for $11.6 billion.

The news comes as investors flocked to Omaha, Nebraska this weekend for the company’s annual meeting, the first in-person gathering since the start of the pandemic.

The event, often billed as “Woodstock for capitalists” has long been an iconic daylong affair, where Buffet, the 91-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” takes questions from attendees inside the city’s 17,000-seat arena.

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