Second trimester | Berkshire Hathaway loses 44 billion due to falling stock markets

(New York) Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s holding company, unveiled a staggering net loss of nearly $44 billion in the second quarter on Saturday, linked to the fall in its shares on the stock markets, which were very shaken over this period. .

The first half of 2022 was indeed the worst for the New York Stock Exchange since 1970, sending the value of the huge portfolio of diverse stocks held by the holding company plummeting in the markets.

This is not the first time that the company has recorded such a loss: in the first quarter of 2020 already, the rout of the stock markets caused by the pandemic had caused Berkshire Hathaway to lose nearly $ 50 billion.

Between April and June 2022, the total loss related to investments in the markets amounts to $53 billion, which could not be compensated by the rise of 38.8%, to $9.3 billion. , the operating profit generated by the businesses the company owns (from insurance companies to trains to energy and frozen desserts).

In total, the group therefore lost 43.8 billion dollars in the quarter, when it had won 28 billion last year at the same time.

“The amount of investment gains/losses in a given quarter is generally meaningless,” Berkshire Hathaway warned in its earnings release.

The holding company had, in the first quarter, bought more than 51 billion dollars of shares, in particular moving the oil major Chevron into the top 4 of its investments alongside American Express, Apple and Bank of America.

It had also acquired 14% of Occidental Petroleum, increased its stake in the manufacturer of computers and printers HP as well as in the publisher of video games Activision – in the process of being bought by Microsoft -, and planned to buy the company Alleghany Insurance Company for $11.6 billion.

Canadian Greg Abel has been named to succeed Berkshire Hathaway multi-billionaire Warren Buffet, nicknamed “the Oracle of Omaha” – named after his hometown in Nebraska – and who will turn 92 at the end of of the month.

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