May 2, 2020 / 12:10 PM / a month ago

Buffett's Berkshire posts record net loss on coronavirus, operating profit rises

May 2 (Reuters) - 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. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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