The coronavirus pandemic may have consumed around $64 billion of value from Warren Buffett’s equity portfolio at Berkshire Hathaway, setting up the conglomerate for one of the largest quarterly losses ever by an American firm.
Berkshire’s portfolio of U.S.-listed stocks, along with Kraft Heinz, migt have contracted by 26% in Q1 if Berkshire did no buying and selling, in accordance with Refinitiv data and regulatory filings.
Against this, the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 20%, and Berkshire’s own stock plunged about the same.
Buffett urges investors to think long-interval, focusing on Berkshire’s operating outcomes and the intrinsic value of its stock holdings, some of which it has owned for many years.
In his February 22 shareholder letter, Buffett stated he expects the stocks to ship “major gains,” albeit irregularly.
Nonetheless, the declines reflect challenges the pandemic causes even for Buffett, the world’s fourth-richest person based on Forbes journal and among its most esteemed traders.
They also followed Buffett’s prediction in a February 24 interview, five days after the S&P 500 set an all-time high, that Berkshire would oust in down markets, and over the long term perform “in a very safe manner.”
The 89-year-old Buffett had defeated cancer in 2012, and last month started working at his Omaha, Nebraska, home rather than Berkshire’s office two miles away. He didn’t respond to a request for a remark sent to his assistant.