Annual Letter: Warren Buffett Tells Wall Street Pundits to Ignore

Omaha, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett credits his longtime partner — the late Charlie Munger — with being the architect of Berkshire Hathaway Group. Annual letter Don't listen to Wall Street pundits or financial advisors urging you to trade frequently.

Buffett also described how Berkshire's insurance businesses thrived last year, but its massive utilities and BNSF railroad disappointed. He also told shareholders he had no plans to sell nearly 30% of Occidental Petroleum and 9% of the five largest Japanese trading companies.

A combination of Berkshire's select businesses, combined with the strong performance of its investments, led to fourth-quarter earnings of $37.57 billion, or $26,043 per Class A share. That was more than double Berkshire's reported profit of $18.08 billion a year ago, or $12,355 per Class A share.

But Buffett cautioned that investors should largely ignore those bottom line figures. Instead, he has long urged investors to focus on Berkshire's operating income rather than investments.

By that measure, Berkshire reported a 28% rise in operating income to $8.48 billion, or $5,878.21 per Class A share. That's $6.63 billion, or $4,527.06 per Class A share.

Three analysts surveyed by FactSet Research forecast that Berkshire will report quarterly operating earnings of $5,717.17 per Class A share.

Berkshire's stock has hit a series of new highs in recent weeks, most recently hitting $632,820 per Class A share Friday morning as investors eagerly awaited Buffett's letter. Buffett is revered for his remarkably successful track record and the wisdom he has delivered over the decades. His annual letter is always one of the best read reports in the business world.

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Berkshire spent $2.2 billion to repurchase its own stock in the fourth quarter, bringing it to $9.2 billion for the full year.

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For more AP coverage of Warren Buffett, see here: https://apnews.com/hub/warren-buffett Or check out Berkshire Hathaway news here: https://apnews.com/hub/berkshire-hathaway-inc And follow Josh Funk online https://www.twitter.com/funkwrite And https://www.linkedin.com/in/funkwrite

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