Berkshire Hathaway


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Berkshire Hathaway is a leading conglomerate holding business establishment. It is headquartered at Omaha in Nebraska. It is ranked #10 in 2008 Forbes Global 2000 list.
Berkshire Hathaway looks after business activities of its various subsidiary companies. Its main business area is insurance. It focuses primarily on property insurance, reinsurance, casualty insurance and specialty nonstandard insurance.

Brief history
Berkshire Hathaway was established in 1839 by Oliver Chace. It was incorporated at Valley Falls in Rhode Island. Upon its inception it was named Valley Falls Company and was into textile manufacturing business.

Products and services
Berkshire Hathaway offers its products and services in several categories like insurance, apparel, media and construction, transportation, furniture and food. It also has some other brands as well. In insurance, main brands of Berkshire Hathaway are Applied Underwriters Inc., Medical Protective, Berkshire Hathaway Assurance, National Indemnity Company, Central States Indemnity Company, United States Liability Insurance Group, GEICO, Wesco Financial, General Re, Swiss Re and Kansas Bankers Surety Company.

In materials and construction section, leading brands of Berkshire Hathaway are Acme Industries, Johns-Manville, Benjamin Moore & Co, MiTek, Clayton Homes, Precision Steel Warehouse, Inc., ISCAR Metalworking and Shaw Industries.

In 2007, sales of Berkshire Hathaway amounted to around $118.25 billion and it earned profits worth about $13.21 billion. Assets held by Berkshire Hathaway were worth nearly $273.16 billion and its market value stood at around $216.65 billion.

Awards and recognition
In Reactions Global Awards 2008, held at New York, Warren Buffett, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway was awarded with “Influential Individual of the Year” award.

Shaw Industries, which is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway has been awarded with a number of prizes like NeoCon Most Innovative Product Award and Governors Award for Pollution Prevention which it won in 1999 and EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, which it won in 2003. It has been featured in magazines like Interior Design, Metropolis and Contract.

Current financial crisis
On November 20, 2008 prices of each share of Berkshire Hathaway fell by $6,500. This is lowest price of their shares in last five years or more.