In its first earnings report since the passing of Vice Chair Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway honored the investing icon and delivered robust earnings that exceeded estimates. While the conglomerate’s stock initially rose by 3% following the opening bell on Monday, it later dipped to around $413 per share by early afternoon, down 1% for the day.

Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett paid tribute to Munger in his annual letter to shareholders, titled “Charlie Munger: The Architect of Berkshire Hathaway.” Buffett recounted Munger’s pivotal role in shaping the company’s trajectory, including his sage advice in 1965 to abandon old investment strategies and focus on acquiring quality businesses at fair prices.

Berkshire Hathaway reported impressive financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2023. Net earnings for the quarter totaled $37.6 billion, more than double the figure from the previous year, while full-year net earnings reached $96 billion, a stark improvement from the previous year’s loss. However, Buffett cautioned against solely focusing on net earnings, as they include fluctuations in the firm’s stock portfolio and are not indicative of its operational performance.

Operating earnings, which exclude the impact of stock portfolio returns, were also strong, with fourth-quarter operating earnings up 29% year over year and full-year operating earnings up 21% over 2022. The insurance segment emerged as the top performer, while other businesses within Berkshire Hathaway also posted solid results.

Buffett reflected on the company’s growth and its current status as one of the largest businesses in America, emphasizing its stability and resilience in navigating diverse market conditions. While acknowledging the challenges of sustaining high growth rates due to its size, Buffett reiterated Berkshire Hathaway’s commitment to long-term success and prudent financial management.

In conclusion, Buffett invited shareholders to attend the upcoming annual meeting in May, noting the absence of Munger from the stage. Despite the loss, Berkshire Hathaway remains steadfast in its mission and poised for continued success under Buffett’s leadership.

By Admin

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