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Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. Message Board

  • manintheknow50 manintheknow50 May 3, 2011 8:52 AM Flag

    BERKSHIRE - MAYBE NOT SO GREAT

    BERKSHIRE SEES 58% LOWER Q1 PROFIT AND 2011 UNDERWRITING LOSS
    Berkshire Hathaway expects 58% drop in Q1 net income largely owing to catastrophe losses. It also expects to record a full-year underwriting loss, its first in nine years. The group anticipates Q1 net income of $1.51bn, down from $3.63bn a year earlier, as its re/insurance operations swung to an underwriting loss of $821m from a year-earlier gain of $226m and managed to eke out after-tax income of only $131m versus a gain of $1.21bn. Results are to include incurred losses of $1.07bn from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, $412m from the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, and $195m from flooding and cyclone Yasi in Australia. Of the total $1.67bn in losses from those disasters, $700m are tied to Berkshire's 20% quota share arrangement with Swiss Re. Group operating earnings dropped 27% to $1.59bn. Net earnings fell even further owing to a swing to $82m in realized investment and derivatives losses from year-earlier gains of $1.41bn. Looking ahead for the year, CEO Warren Buffett said that "it's unlikely that we would have an underwriting profit for 2011. If it was remarkably catastrophe-free, it's conceivable we would break even".

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