Legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.A) over the weekend reported a significant hit to its quarterly earnings citing a slowdown in the U.S. economy.
Highlights from Berkshire’s 2022 annual meeting
The Oracle of Omaha and his right-hand man, Charlie Munger, discussed notable events from the first quarter at the 2022 annual meeting. A few are listed below:
Berkshire expanded its exposure to Chevron Corporation by 120 million shares in Q1. The position is now worth $25.9 billion.The conglomerate has been loading up on Activision Blizzard ever since it announced a deal with Microsoft. Berkshire now owns roughly 9.5% of the video game company.Both Buffett and Munger continue to be strictly against cryptocurrencies and blasted Robinhood at the annual meeting for practices they dubbed “disgusting”.Snapped up a 14% stake in 1920-founded Occidental Petroleum as market continued to act like a “casino” and spent $11.60 billion to buy Alleghany Corporation.Stock repurchase more than halved (sequentially) in the recent quarter to $3.20 billion.
Berkshire’s earnings tanked 53% in the first quarter
The conglomerate earned $5.46 billion in Q1 that represents a 53% decline from $11.71 billion in the same quarter last year. Operating earnings remained unchanged on a year-over-year basis.
Much of the decline was attributed to Berkshire’s insurance business that saw a 94% plunge in quarterly earnings. Investments resulted in a $1.58 billion loss in the first quarter but Berkshire shrugged it off in the release saying:
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 not knowledge of accounting rules.
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