Berkshire Hathaway Class A Declines 12.5 Percent In 2015 by Dr. David Kass
Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Class A declined by 12.5 percent in 2015 to close at $197,800. The Class B shares fell by 12.1 percent in 2015 and closed at $132.04.
Warren Buffett, in his most recent annual letter to shareholders, provided a 50 year time series of the performance of Berkshire’s stock price versus the S&P 500 with dividends included. Since the total return to the S&P 500 in 2015 was +1.2 percent, then Berkshire’s Class A shares underperformed that market index by 13.7 percent. This was fourth worst relative performance for Berkshire in its 51 year history. Only in the years 1999 (relative performance = -40.9 percent), 1974 (relative performance = – 22.3 percent), and 1990 (relative performance = -20.0 percent) did Berkshire experience larger relative declines in its Class A share price.