This Could Be Warren Buffett’s Worst Year Since 2009
Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate headed by investment sage Warren Buffett, could be headed for its worst year on the stock market since 2009.
Shares are down around 11.7% with two more days of trading in 2015 to go, and they’ve underperformed relative to the overall S&P 500, which has provided a 3% return including dividends, according to the Financial Times.
Unless the stock rallies, this year stands to be the 11th negative year since Buffett took control of the company in 1965, the FT reported. It would also be the worst underperformance relative to the S&P 500 since 2009, when the market was recovering from the effects of the financial crisis.
The drop can be largely attributed to the fall in commodity prices, as the company’s railroad, manufacturing, and insurance units have all suffered from declining oil prices over the year. “They are impacted by the weak resources sector and commodity prices in general,” Jim Shanahan, analyst at Edward Jones, told The FT.
Berkshire (BRK-A) also saw significant declines in two of its largest stock market investments in its portfolio this year: American Express (AXP), which is down by 24%, and IBM (IBM), which is down 13%.
The company’s other financials, as Fortune has previously reported, have been generally solid this year, with Berkshire’s net earnings for the third quarter hitting a record $9.43 billion, and revenues from its non-insurance operating businesses, which could be interpreted as more economically sensitive, were up 5% in the quarter.
On its Golden Anniversary, investors can take a long-term look at Berkshire’s performance and still be heartened. For the 50 years under Buffett, the stock price grew at a compound annual rate of 21.6%, with an overall gain of 1,826,163%.