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    Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Bed Bath & Beyond, AMC, First Solar, Palantir and more

    An AMC theatre is pictured amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 27, 2021.
    Carlo Allegri | Reuters

    Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading.
    Bed Bath & Beyond, AMC — Shares surged 39.8% and 8% respectively as social media traders appeared to invest in the two meme stocks, even without an apparent catalyst.

    Signify Health — The stock jumped 11% following a Wall Street Journal report, citing people familiar with the matter, that CVS Health is planning a bid for the home health services company.
    First Solar — First Solar jumped 4.8% after Goldman Sachs upgraded shares to overweight from neutral. The bank said the solar technology stock should benefit from the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and upped its price target to $126 from $83 a share.
    Rhythm Pharmaceuticals — The biopharma stock gained 4.4% after Goldman Sachs upgraded it to buy from neutral, saying shares could rally about 40% following successful trials of its obesity medicine.
    Barrick Gold — The miner jumped 3.9% after beating analyst expectations in its second-quarter results, because of higher copper production.
    Palantir Technologies — Shares of Palantir tumbled more than 14.2% after the software company known for its work with the government reported a loss of 1 cent per share in its most recent quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of 3 cents per share, according to Refinitiv. CFO David Glazer told CNBC the company’s miss was due to a decline in investments and marketable securities.

    Tyson Foods — Shares of the food products company fell 8.4% after Tyson missed earnings estimates in its fiscal third quarter. Company executives said on an investor call that supply chain issues were hurting its ability to fulfill customer orders, according to a transcript of the call from FactSet.
    Nvidia — The semiconductor stock dropped 6.3% after Nvidia reported a revenue miss in its second-quarter results. The chipmaker generated $6.7 billion in revenue, compared to analyst expectations of $8.1 billion, citing gaming weakness.
    BioNTech — The German biotech company, which partnered with Pfizer on its Covid-19 vaccine, dropped 7.5% after reporting earnings and revenue that missed expectations. The company said its variant-adapted Covid-19 vaccine should provide an uptick in demand in the fourth quarter.
    — CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Jesse Pound, Samantha Subin and Michelle Fox Theobald contributed reporting

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    Carried interest provision is cut from Inflation Reduction Act. How this tax break works, and how it benefits high-income taxpayers

    Senate Democrats passed historic climate, healthcare and tax legislation on Sunday. The bill now heads to the House.
    An initial draft of the Inflation Reduction Act would have tweaked the taxation of carried interest, profits paid to private equity and hedge fund managers.
    Many Democrats view current rules as a loophole that benefits the wealthy. Others say raising taxes would hurt investors and limit the incentive for risk-taking.

    Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., on Capitol Hill on Sept. 30, 2021.
    Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images

    Senate Democrats passed a historic package of climate, healthcare and tax provisions on Sunday.
    But one proposed tweak to the tax code — a modification of so-called carried interest rules — didn’t survive due to objections from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., whose support was essential to pass the Inflation Reduction Act in an evenly divided Senate. The bill now heads to the House, which is expected to pass it this week.

    Many Democrats and opponents refer to the lower tax rate on carried interest as a loophole that allows wealthy private equity, hedge fund and other investment managers to pay a lower tax rate than some of their employees and other American workers.
    “It’s a real rich benefit for the wealthiest of Americans,” said Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “Why should a private-equity manager be able to structure his or her compensation with low-taxed gains? That seems wrong.”
    Here’s what carried interest is, and why many Democrats want to change how it’s taxed.

    Carried interest compensates investment executives

    Carried interest is a form of compensation paid to investment executives like private equity, hedge fund and venture capital managers.
    The managers receive a share of the fund’s profits — typically 20% of the total — which is divided among them proportionally. The profit is called carried interest, and is also known as “carry” or “profits interest.”

    Here’s where the tax controversy lies: That money is considered a return on investment. As such, managers pay a top 20% federal tax rate on those profits, rather than regular federal tax rates of up to 37% that apply to compensation paid as a wage or salary.
    That preferential 20% tax rate is the same as “long-term capital gains,” which applies to investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate held for more than a year.

    Bulk of fund managers’ compensation is carried interest

    Carried interest accounts for the “vast majority” of compensation paid to managing partners of private equity funds, according to Jonathan Goldstein, who leads the Americas private equity practice at Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm.
    For example, carried interest accounts for at least 84% of managing partners’ total compensation, on average, according to a Heidrick & Struggles 2021 survey. The share varies, depending on a firm’s assets under management, though skews well over 90% among partners at larger firms.
    More from Personal Finance:How the Inflation Reduction Act preserves expanded health subsidiesThese 30 companies will help employees pay off their student loansReconciliation bill includes nearly $80 billion for IRS funding
    In dollar terms, managing partners’ carried interest ranged from $10 million to $102 million, on average, according to the survey, again depending on overall assets under management.
    Additionally, while capital gains for wealthy investors are generally subject to an additional 3.8% Medicare surtax, not all carried interest is subject to this “net investment income tax,” according to tax experts. When it is factored in, managers that are subject to the tax would owe a 23.8% total top tax rate at the federal level, when added to the 20% top rate for capital gains.

    Some say it’s a ‘stain’; others, a ‘successful policy’

    Wealthy investors, including Warren Buffett and Bill Ackman, have lambasted the tax treatment of carried interest.
    “The carried interest loophole is a stain on the tax code,” Ackman, the chief executive of Pershing Square, wrote July 28 on Twitter.
    However, other tax experts and proponents of the current tax structure think a lower rate on carried interest is appropriate, benefiting investors and the economy. Raising taxes on fund profits would be a disincentive for managers to take risk and would reduce investment capital, they said.
    “Carried interest is appropriately taxed as a capital gain and a successful policy that incentivizes investment in the U.S. economy,” according to Noah Theran, the executive vice president and managing director of the Managed Funds Association, a trade group.
    Higher tax rates could also have “spillover effects” by reducing the rate of return for investors like pension funds and other institutions, said Jennifer Acuna, a partner at KPMG and former tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee.
    “The policies have been going back and forth for many years, on what is the right policy to tax carried interest,” Acuna said. “I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.”

    Proposal would have curtailed carried interest

    A deal brokered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., initially proposed curtailing the tax break for carried interest. However, the proposal was removed from the final legislation that passed the Senate.
    Most significantly, the proposal would have required fund managers to hold portfolio assets for five years — an increase from three years — in order to receive the preferential 20% tax rate.
    Managers with a holding period of less than five years would incur “short-term” capital gains tax rates on carried interest — a 37% top rate, the same that applies to wage and salary income for the highest-income taxpayers.
    Another proposed tweak would have effectively lengthened that holding period beyond five years, according to Rosenthal.
    That’s because the initial proposal would have started counting the five-year clock only after a private-equity fund made “substantially all” of its investments — a term that isn’t specifically defined but which tax experts would generally consider as 70% to 80% of a fund’s investment capital being committed, Rosenthal said.
    In practice, that would likely have extended the effective holding period to roughly seven to nine years, a policy that “had some bite,” he added.
    Democrats estimated that the proposed changes to the carried interest rules would have raised $14 billion over 10 years.

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    Reconciliation bill includes nearly $80 billion for IRS including enforcement, audits: What that means for taxpayers

    Senate Democrats on Sunday passed their climate, health and tax package, including nearly $80 billion in funding for the IRS.
    The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $79.6 billion to the agency over the next 10 years, with more than half of the money going to enforcement.

    Senate Democrats on Sunday passed their climate, health and tax package, including nearly $80 billion in funding for the IRS.
    Part of President Joe Biden’s agenda, the Inflation Reduction Act allocates $79.6 billion to the agency over the next 10 years. More than half of the money is meant for enforcement, with the IRS aiming to collect more from corporate and high-net-worth tax dodgers.

    The remainder of the funding is earmarked for operations, taxpayer services, technology, development of a direct free e-file system and more. Collectively, those improvements are projected to bring in $203.7 billion in revenue from 2022 to 2031, according to recent estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
    More from Personal Finance:Does the Inflation Reduction Act violate Biden’s $400,000 tax pledge?5 things borrowers can do while they wait for student loan forgivenessIs the economy in a recession? Top economists weigh in
    IRS audits have plunged over the past decade, with the biggest declines among the wealthy, according to a May 2022 report from the Government Accountability Office.
    The audit rate for Americans making $5 million or more dropped to about 2% in 2019, compared to 16% in 2010, the report found. The agency said it is working to improve these numbers.
    However, if the Inflation Reduction Act is approved by the House and signed into law, it will take time to phase in the added IRS funding, explained Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation. The Congressional Budget Office only estimates about $3 billion of the $203.7 billion in revenue for 2023.

    “We didn’t get to this state with the agency overnight, and it will take longer than overnight to go in the right direction,” he said.

    IRS: We won’t boost ‘audit scrutiny’ on the middle class

    While advocates applaud the enhanced IRS budget, opponents argue the beefed-up enforcement may affect more than wealthy Americans, violating Biden’s $400,000 pledge.  
    “My colleagues claim this massive funding boost will allow the IRS to go after millionaires, billionaires and so-called rich ‘tax cheats,’ but the reality is a significant portion raised from their IRS funding bloat would come from taxpayers with income below $400,000,” Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee said in a statement.  
    IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said the $80 billion in funding would not increase audits of households making less than $400,000 per year.
    “The resources in the reconciliation package will get us back to historical norms in areas of challenge for the agency — large corporate and global high-net-worth taxpayers,” he wrote in a letter to the Senate.
    “These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle-income Americans,” he added.
    More than two-thirds of registered voters support boosting the IRS budget to strengthen tax enforcement on high-income taxpayers, according to a 2021 poll from the University of Maryland.   

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    These 30 companies will help employees pay off their student loans

    With loan forgiveness in limbo, more employers are stepping up to address student debt and the accommodations workers now want most of all.
    Here are 30 companies that offer repayment assistance as well as the ability to work from home. 

    Federal student loan payments, most of which were paused during the pandemic, are set to resume in September.
    And yet, 93% borrowers say they are not financially prepared to restart payments, according to a survey by the Student Debt Crisis Center and Savi. With no break in sight for rising prices, many Americans are simply stretched too thin, other studies show.

    The Biden administration is currently deciding how to proceed with student loan forgiveness, and there are signs that the repayment pause may be extended yet again. But in the meantime, more employers are offering to help.
    More from Personal Finance:What we know about student loan forgivenessHere are the ‘most employable’ college degrees5 things borrowers can do while they wait for loan forgiveness
    About 8% of employers offered student loan debt assistance in 2021 but 33% were considering adding it, according to the most recent data from Willis Towers Watson, a compensation consulting firm.
    “There’s a lot of interest across the board,” said Lydia Jilek, Willis Towers Watson’s senior director for voluntary benefits. “A greater swath of the population has student loan debt than many people think.”
    “It continues to be a benefit of significant interest and value for employees as well as employers,” she added.

    Remote-friendly companies offering student loan help

    Meanwhile, many Americans also want to continue working remotely instead of going back to the office, at least some of the time. A Prudential survey found that financial stability, job benefits and a better work/life balance are top priorities going forward.
    To that end, FlexJobs identified 30 companies — now hiring — that offer student loan repayment assistance as well as the ability to work-from-home. 
    Many of the employers on the list will provide a monthly payment towards student loans, while others make yearly contributions. The payments range from $50 to several thousands, usually with a maximum lifetime benefit, and may depend on full-time or part-time status, according to FlexJobs. 

    Abbott
    Aetna
    American Family Insurance
    Ameritas
    Atticus Law
    BAM Communications
    ChowNow
    CommonBond, Inc.
    Crossmedia
    Evercommerce
    Fidelity Investments
    Google
    GumGum
    HCA Healthcare
    Homesite Insurance
    Live Nation
    Main Street Bank
    Medix
    New York Life
    NVIDIA
    Parallon
    Peloton
    PricewaterhouseCoopers
    Pure Insurance
    Real Chemistry
    SoFi – Social Finance
    Teachable
    The Hartford
    Vituity
    Weedmaps

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    Expanded health insurance subsidies remain intact for 13 million people under Inflation Reduction Act

    The Inflation Reduction Act, which cleared the Senate on Sunday, includes an extension of temporarily expanded subsidies put in place for 2021 and 2022.
    The House would need to approve the bill before it could be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.
    Without the extension for the more generous subsidies, some people would see their premiums rise by more than 50%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    FatCamera | E+ | Getty Images

    Households that get help paying for health insurance through the public marketplace are likely to continue qualifying for more generous subsidies under a congressional bill moving closer to final approval.
    The Inflation Reduction Act, which cleared the Senate on Sunday, includes an extension of temporarily expanded health insurance subsidies — technically tax credits — that were put in place for 2021 and 2022. The vote was 50-50 with no Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the legislation.

    Assuming the House approves the measure — which it is expected to do later this week — and President Joe Biden signs it into law, the more generous subsidies would remain available through the end of 2025.
    More from Personal Finance:7 changes Americans are willing to make to fix Social SecurityTypical job switcher got a pay raise of nearly 10%, study findsHere’s a look at ‘most employable’ degrees for new graduates
    “Without the extension, the vast majority of the 13 million people who get subsidies … would see premium payments rise,” said Krutika Amin, associate director for the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Affordable Care Act program. “This would avert the massive premium increase [those] people would have seen otherwise.”
    Nearly 13 million of the 14.5 million people enrolled in private health insurance through the public marketplace — which was authorized by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 — are receiving subsidies in 2022. Some people also may qualify for help with cost-sharing such as deductibles and copays on certain plans, depending on their income.

    How the extension helps enrolled consumers

    Generally speaking, people who get coverage this way — either through healthcare.gov or their state’s exchange — are self-employed or can’t get workplace insurance, or they don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

    Before the temporary changes, the aid was generally only available to households with income from 100% to 400% of the poverty level. The American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law in March 2021, removed — for two years — that income cap, and the amount that anyone pays for premiums is limited to 8.5% of their income as calculated by the exchange.
    The bill currently headed to the house would extend these modified calculations.

    For some enrollees, the difference is significant: Premium payments could rise by more than 50% without the extension, Amin said. For instance, a 60-year-old with income just above $50,000 would see those monthly payments jump to $900 from $400.
    The extension of the subsidies is one of a handful of provisions in the bill related to health care. The legislation also would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of certain drugs and would cap yearly outlays on prescription drugs under Part D to $2,000, as well as cap beneficiaries’ monthly insulin prices at $35. 

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    Bed Bath & Beyond shares jump more than 30% as message board mentions soar on the troubled, heavily shorted stock

    A view of a Bed Bath and Beyond store in Daly City, California.
    Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

    Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond jumped more than 30% in premarket trading on Monday as meme traders seemed to be betting on the stock despite any apparent catalyst for the move.
    The heavily shorted stock, which has tumbled more than 44% this year, was the most searched name on the WallStreetBets discussion board on Monday according to Quiver Quantitative, where users under a pinned thread titled “AMC and BBBY Memestock Megathread for Monday August 8th, 2022” appeared to be buying up shares of the retail stock.

    One user said they “took out a 27k loan, went all in on BBY,” which a group moderator seemed to confirm. Another user (TheDude0007) alleged to have capitalized on the BBBY spike, turning $45,000 into almost $450,000 using common stock and call options.
    Bed Bath & Beyond has been a part of the meme stock craze that has hit Wall Street in recent years and driven names like GameStop and AMC Entertainment higher as investors bought up shares and forced short sellers to attempt to cover their losses, creating what’s known as a “short squeeze.” According to data from FactSet, a whopping 46% of the stock’s float is sold short.
    As many retailers cope with inflation-wary consumers and excess inventory, Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to reverse declining sales, fix its merchandising strategy and gain back customers who have fled to its competitors — all while searching for a new leader after the board announced in late June that its CEO Mark Tritton had left the company.
    At the same time, the Union, N.J.-based home goods retailer has also been burning through cash as its net losses grow. While the company has not provided a forecast, it said it expects same-store sales trends to improve after plummeting 24% year-over-year in the quarter ended May 28.
    — CNBC’s Melissa Repko and Jack Stebbins contributed reporting

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    Wall Street's top analysts say these are their favorite stocks right now

    The Airbnb logo is seen on a little mini pyramid under the glass Pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris, France, March 12, 2019.
    Charles Platiau | Reuters

    Economic data and earnings reports have been dictating the pace of the market as investors search for hints on what the Federal Reserve may do next.
    July’s payrolls report came in stronger than expected, rising by 528,000, suggesting the labor market still has plenty of steam. In turn, traders speculated that the Fed will likely keep up its tough stance on interest rates, anticipating greater odds for a 0.75 percentage point hike in September.

    As tempting as it may be to follow stocks minute by minute, investors would do well to pick their names with a long-term perspective in mind.
    To that end, here are five stocks highlighted by Wall Street’s top professionals, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their performance.

    ArcBest

    ArcBest (ARCB) is a transportation sector player. Its subsidiaries operate in the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector. Despite ArcBest’s exposure to rampant macroeconomic and supply chain challenges, the company has managed to perform remarkably, as evidenced by its recent quarterly report.
    ArcBest’s second-quarter results came in above expectations, partly driven by the contributions of its truckload broking firm, MoLo. Other highlights of the quarter were the impressive results of the core LTL business, which grew in revenues and tonnage.
    Cowen analyst Jason Seidl was encouraged by the company’s strength even though he noted “some freight softness in 2H despite a stronger than expected July.” (See ArcBest Stock Investors sentiments on TipRanks)

    Another concern that Seidl pointed out was the weak spot market environment, which led to a sequential decline in ArcBest’s asset-light business. The spot market is where international commodities are exchanged for immediate payment and delivery.
    However, Seidl observed that the acquisition of Molo has increased ArcBest’s mix of contractual business. This is likely to somewhat buffer the business against volatility in the spot market.
    Near-term headwinds prompted Seidl to lower his price target to $127 from $133. However, overall, the analyst was bullish on ArcBest’s long-term prospects and reiterated a buy rating on the stock.
    Seidl is ranked No. 4 among nearly 8,000 analysts rated on TipRanks. Moreover, his ratings have led to positive returns 60% of the time, garnering average returns of 26.6% per rating.

    Airbnb

    The online hosting marketplace operator Airbnb (ABNB) has been affected by the constant macroeconomic clashes in the U.S. and delayed travel rebound in Asia. Moreover, investors were seemingly unhappy with the company, despite its record-breaking bookings..
    Nonetheless, the company’s second-quarter results reflected a strong surge in travel as economies reopened, along with the domestic and international skies. (See Airbnb Stock Chart on TipRanks)
    Analyst Brian Fitzgerald of Wells Fargo was impressed by Airbnb’s disciplined operating practices and efficient execution amid the various challenges. The analyst believes that Airbnb has a first-mover advantage in a relatively new and upcoming segment of the hospitality industry. He believes that a post-earnings retraction in share prices can be a great opportunity to increase stock positions for healthy long-term returns.
    Maintaining a buy rating on the company, Fitzgerald sees the company’s third-quarter outlook as a “reflection of shifting consumer booking patterns/windows amid high reopening demand than a reflection of company- or category-specific growth limitations.”
    However, from the near-term viewpoint, Fitzgerald slashed his prior price target to $185 from $250.
    Fitzgerald is is ranked No.151 among nearly 8,000 analysts in TipRanks’ database. Also, 57% of his ratings have been profitable, generating 18.2% in average returns per rating.

    Pinterest

    Another favorite pick of Brian Fitzgerald is social media stock Pinterest (PINS). The company has been weighed down by intense competition, inflation-led setbacks, and other headwinds that shook investors’ confidence. Nonetheless, its recent quarterly results came in better than feared.
    Fitzgerald called out management’s “constructive commentary,” which highlighted the return of monthly active users (MAUs) to normal seasonal growth patterns in the second half of 2022 and a slowdown of investments in 2023, leading to margin expansion.
    The analyst was also upbeat about highly regarded activist investor Elliott Management supporting Pinterest’s business strategy. (See Pinterest Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)
    However, the near-term operating expenses are expected to be high this year. Moreover, other headwinds are expected to keep revenues for the year under pressure. These forecasts led Fitzgerald to lower the price target to $34 from $37.
    Nonetheless, the analyst remained firm on the longer-term outlook, and he reiterated a buy rating on PINS. “While we believe some investors remain skeptical of PINS’ Idea Pins content strategy, we see an emerging content consumption/creation flywheel and think PINS is making the right moves to drive engagement while continuing to refine relevance and shopping tools,” he said.

    Cirrus Logic

    Most chipmakers with exposure to the mobile phone market have had plenty of challenges this year. Cirrus Logic (CRUS), which delivers optimized integrated circuits for a range of audio, industrial and energy-related applications, is among those companies. (See Cirrus Logic Risk Factors on TipRanks)
    Recently, Cirrus delivered strong quarterly results. Following the print, Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland analyzed the company’s future prospects.
    Rolland highlighted Cirrus’ long-documented strong relationship with its largest customer, Apple. “We believe their relationship with Apple has never been better, and the solid outlook provided this quarter only reaffirms our belief,” said the analyst.
    Rolland also noted the company’s consistent commitment to a strong share repurchase program. Cirrus announced a $500 million share buyback program, in addition to the $136.1 million remaining from an earlier repurchase authorization in 2021.
    “With almost $7 billion in net cash, we would hope Cirrus would accelerate these purchases in front of the strong outlook,” said Rolland, reiterating his buy rating and $110 price target on the stock.
    Christopher Rolland is also one of the Wall Street analysts ranked five-star on TipRanks. He holds the 6th position among almost 8,000 analyst tracked on the platform. Also, 73% of his ratings have been successful, and each rating has delivered an average return of 25.4%.

    Monolithic Power

    Monolithic Power (MPWR) makes power solutions for a range of industries, including telecom and cloud computing, but it has suffered from softening demand in the consumer end market. Nonetheless, recently, the company delivered upbeat results and positive commentary.
    Needham analyst Quinn Bolton made note of Monolithic Power’s increased “new greenfield design wins and market share gains,” which reinforced his belief that the company is the “fastest secular grower in the analog segment.” (See Monolithic Power Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)
    Monolithic Power’s level of expertise in proprietary BCD process technology and applications has driven the company to achieve faster growth than its peers in the analog/mixed-signal domain. “We believe MPS will continue to grow faster than the analog market driven by market share gains, the ramp of new products/design wins and co-development projects with tier-one customers,” said Bolton.
    Based on his analysis of Monolithic Power, Quinn Bolton reiterated a buy rating on the stock, and raised the price target to $550 from $500.
    Bolton is No.1 in the large database of about 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks. In all, 74% of his ratings have been profitable, bringing in 45.1% in average returns per rating.

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    Berkshire Hathaway reports operating earnings surge, but posts big investment loss amid market rout

    The conglomerate’s operating earnings totaled $9.283 billion in the second quarter of 2022, marking a 38.8% increase from a year ago.
    However, the company posted a $53 billion loss on its investments during the quarter.
    Warren Buffett again asked investors to not focus on the quarterly fluctuations in its equity investments.

    An Andy Warhol-like print of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett hangs outside a clothing stand during the first in-person annual meeting since 2019 of Berkshire Hathaway Inc in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. April 30, 2022.
    Scott Morgan | Reuters

    Berkshire Hathaway’s operating profits jumped in the second quarter despite fears of slowing growth, but Warren Buffett’s conglomerate was not immune to the overall market turmoil.
    The conglomerate’s operating earnings — which encompass profits made from the myriad of businesses owned by the conglomerate like insurance, railroads and utilities — totaled $9.283 billion in the second quarter of 2022, Berkshire reported Saturday morning. It marked a 38.8% increase from the same quarter a year ago.

    However, the company posted a $53 billion loss on its investments during the quarter. The legendary investor again asked investors to not focus on the quarterly fluctuations in its equity investments.
    “The amount of investment gains/losses in any given quarter is usually meaningless and delivers figures for net earnings per share that can be extremely misleading to investors who have little or no knowledge of accounting rules,” Berkshire said in a statement.
    Stocks tumbled into a bear market during the second quarter after aggressive rate hikes from the Federal Reserve to tame soaring inflation sparked fears of a recession. The S&P 500 posted a more than 16% quarterly loss – its biggest one-quarter fall since March 2020. For the first half, the broader market index dropped 20.6% for its largest first-half decline since 1970.
    The conglomerate’s Class A stock fell more than 22% in the second quarter, and it’s now down nearly 20% from an all-time high reached March 28. Still, Berkshire’s stock is outperforming the S&P 500 significantly, down 2,5% versus the equity benchmark’s 13% loss year to date.

    Arrows pointing outwards

    Berkshire said it spent approximately $1 billion in share repurchases during the second quarter, bringing the six-month total to $4.2 billion. However, that’s a slower repurchase pace than the one seen in the first quarter, when the company bought back $3.2 billion of if its own stock.

    The conglomerate showed a massive cash hoard of $105.4 billion at the end of June even though the giant has been more active in deal-making and picking stocks.
    The “Oracle of Omaha” has been steadily adding to his Occidental Petroleum stake since March, giving Berkshire a 19.4% Occidental stake worth about $10.9 billion. Occidental has been the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 this year, more than doubling in price on the back of surging oil prices.
    In late March, the company said it agreed to buy insurer Alleghany for $11.6 billion — marking Buffett’s biggest deal since 2016.

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