TORONTO (Reuters) - Fairfax Financial Corp
The Toronto-based company said it had a net loss of $5.5 million, or a loss of 98 cents a share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with a profit of $406.4 million, or $18.82 a share, a year ago.
Fairfax, which has hedged its stock portfolio since 2010, lost a net $329.1 million on investments as losses on the equity hedges more than offset gains on equity holdings.
Fairfax Chief Executive Watsa said in a statement that the stock portfolio continues to be fully hedged, and that he expected unrealized losses to reverse in the future.
Since taking over the company in 1985, Watsa has built a reputation as a shrewd investor with moves such as betting against the U.S. housing market and then reaping huge profits when the market collapsed five years ago.
The company's latest big bet has been on hard-hit smartphone market BlackBerry Ltd
(Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)