Berkshire Hathaway released its fourth quarter results earlier today, and with it Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders. You can get the letter, and previous Buffett letters dating back to 1977 here.
Bloomberg provides a nice report:
Berkshire has been scaling back coverage of coastal property as rates drop from their highs following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Operating earnings, which exclude a gain from selling PetroChina Co. shares and other one-time items, declined 18 percent to $1,518 a share, lagging the $1,613 average estimate of three analysts compiled by Bloomberg.
"The party is over,'' Buffett said in his annual letter to shareholders. "It is a certainty that insurance industry profit margins, including ours, will fall significantly in 2008. Prices are down.''
I stated the insurance cycle was headed into a less favorable phase when I bought Millea Holdings (MLEAY/OTC) in late 2007. But I'll settle for shorter term pain in exchange for longer term gains (which is a recurring theme with value investing, as well all know).