Berkshire Hathaway Reports Biggest Loss Ever, Only Second Loss in its History

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has just reported the worst earnings in its entire 44-year history [2008 Annual Report PDF]. In 2008, the net worth of the company declined by $11.5 billion, taking its per-share book value down by 9.6% (includes unrealized gains and losses) It is only the second ever reported loss by Berkshire, the last being in 2001 when its value fell by 6.2%

Excluding unrealized gains and losses, Berkshire Hathaway reported $3,224 per share in profits for 2008, compared to $8,548 in 2007.

Founder Warren Buffett said the dumbest investment mistake made was buying a significant stake in Conoco Philips when oil prices were at their peak. He also said no one really could have anticipated the oil price landslide. Berkshire’s total loss so far is $2.6 billion from the Conoco investment.

In 2008, Berkshire’s A stock is now trading per share at about $78,600 from last Friday’s close, compared to $151,000 in 2007.

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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to [email protected]
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  • Pete

    the richest/smartest investor makes a mistake, its ok Warren!

  • Pete

    the richest/smartest investor makes a mistake, its ok Warren!

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