Press release: We show below summary financial data for the fourth quarter and full year. However, we urge investors and reporters to carefully read our 10-K and Annual Report, which have been posted on the Internet at www.berkshirehathaway.com. The limited information that follows in this press release is totally inadequate for making an informed investment judgment or for an evaluation of 2012 business performance. Earnings are stated on an after-tax basis. (Dollar amounts are in millions, except for per share amounts).
At December 31, 2012, our book value had increased by 14.4% since yearend 2011 to $114,214 per Class A equivalent share. Insurance float (the net liabilities we assume under insurance contracts) at December 31, 2012 was approximately $73 billion.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliations of such measures to the most comparable GAAP figures in accordance with Regulation G are included herein.
Berkshire presents its results in the way it believes will be most meaningful and useful, as well as most transparent, to the investing public and others who use Berkshire's financial information. That presentation includes the use of certain non-GAAP financial measures. In addition to the GAAP presentations of net earnings, Berkshire shows operating earnings defined as net earnings exclusive of investment and derivative gains/losses.
Although the investment of insurance and reinsurance premiums to generate investment income and investment gains or losses is an integral part of Berkshire's operations, the generation of investment gains or losses is independent of the insurance underwriting process. Moreover, under applicable GAAP accounting requirements, losses can be created as the result of other-than-temporary declines in value without actual realization or when certain types of investments are marked-to-market through earnings. In sum, investment and derivative gains/losses for any particular period are not indicative of quarterly business performance.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. Common stock of the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.
Certain statements contained in this press release are "forward looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guaranties of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those forecasted.