Historic loss for Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway


Historic loss for Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway
Legendary investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has reported a $1.53 billion (£1.01 billion) loss for the first quarter of 2009.

The company, led by the world's second richest man, has not recorded a loss for a quarter since 2001 when the September 11th attacks threw markets into turmoil.

Investment losses for the year's first three months came to $3.24 billion (£2.14 billion) as the sage of Omaha's insurance business and his holdings in oil company ConoccoPhillips performed poorly.

Berkshire's revenue for the opening three months of 2009 also fell by 9.5 percent to $22.8 billion (£15.1 billion) in comparison to earnings of $25.2 billion (£16.7 billion) in the corresponding period of 2008.

At the company's annual general meeting last week, Warren Buffett had admitted that he had make a mistake in buying shares in ConoccoPhillips as oil prices peaked.

Berkshire Hathaway has sold 13.7 million of its 79.9 million shares in the oil firm during the quarter realising a $1.9 billion (£1.25 billion) loss on its shareholding in the company.

Assets held by the firm have fallen in value by ten per cent over the course of the year. Previously, credit rating agency Moody's downgraded the firm's credit rating from its top AAA rating over concerns about the performance of its insurance business.

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