Ticker: Buffett’s firm reports $44B loss; Amazon to buy vacuum maker iRobot

Warren Buffett’s company reported a $43.76 billion loss in the second quarter as the paper value of its investments plummeted, but Berkshire Hathaway’s many operating companies generally performed well.

Berkshire said over the weekend that a largely unrealized $53 billion decline in the value of its investments forced it to report a loss of nearly $44 billion, or $29,754 per Class A share. That is down from $28.1 billion, or $18,488 per Class A share, a year ago.

The stock prices of three of Berkshire’s biggest investments — Apple, American Express and Bank of America — all fell significantly during the second quarter. But those stocks have all rebounded during the third quarter, meaning Berkshire’s portfolio is already worth more than it was at the end of the quarter.

Buffett has long said he believes Berkshire’s operating earnings are a better measure of the company’s performance because they exclude investment gains and losses, which can vary widely quarter to quarter. By that measure, Berkshire’s earnings were up significantly to $9.28 billion, or $6,312.49 per Class A share from last year’s $6.69 billion, or $4,399.92 per Class A share.

Amazon to buy vacuum maker iRobot for roughly $1.7B

Amazon has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the vacuum cleaner maker iRobot for approximately $1.7 billion.

It’s a move that will allow Amazon to scoop up another company to add to its collection of smart home appliances amid broader concerns about its market power.

iRobot, with headquarters in Bedford, is most famous for the circular-shaped Roomba vacuum. Amazon says it will acquire the company for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction.. The deal is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators. Upon completion, iRobot’s CEO, Colin Angle, will remain in his position.

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