Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc posted a higher operating profit on Saturday, but the coronavirus pandemic pummeled its common stock investments and led to a record net loss.
Berkshire's first-quarter net loss totaled $49.75 billion, or $30,653 per Class A share, reflecting $54.52 billion of losses from investments, mainly common stocks. A year earlier, net earnings totaled $21.66 billion, or $13,209 per share.
Quarterly operating profit, which Buffett considers a better performance measure, rose 6% to $5.87 billion from $5.56 billion.
An accounting rule requires Berkshire to report unrealized stock losses and gains with earnings. This causes huge swings in Berkshire's net results that Buffett considers meaningless.