Buffett's Berkshire swings to rare loss but performs better

Virginia Carson
May 7, 2018

That adds to 165 million shares that Berkshire had at the end of a year ago.

While the primary focus of his company remains on United States businesses, investment opportunities in other parts of the world, including emerging markets, will also be taken into account, according to Buffett. The company also has major investments in such companies as American Express, IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.

Dismissing concerns that the trade tensions between China and the U.S. could potentially escalate into a trade war, famous USA billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Saturday that the world depends on the United States and China for progress and that both the countries need to focus on common interests.

"In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with nearly certainty that they will come to a bad ending", the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said then.

Buffett's Berkshire buys increased stake in Apple
In February, Berkshire had said its Apple stake grew by about 23% since the end of September to roughly 165.3 million shares. Berkshire runs railroads and sells insurance, paint, ice cream, manufactured homes and batteries, among other businesses.

Buffett appeared on CNBC from Omaha, Nebraska where Berkshire Hathaway held a weekend of events around Saturday's annual meeting.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected operating earnings of $2.08. That's up from $3.6 billion, or about $1.78 per B share, a year ago.

Following this, Berkshire Hathaway acquired more shares and now owns a large slug of Apple stock and has 5 per cent stake in the company.

Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway's Vice Chairman stated during the meeting about trading in digital assets as "just dementia".

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Berkshire's insurance businesses, which had been struggled with losses from hurricanes and other events, posted a $407 million underwriting profit, compared with a year earlier $267 million loss.

Buffett said stock prices are elevated but not in a bubble.

"The trends look pretty good", Tony Nicely, Geico's chief executive, told Reuters on Friday. "Yet the costs keep going up".

BNSF railroad added $1.1 billion to Berkshire's profit, up from $838 million past year.

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