The company also booked a loss of $34 million on its first-ever Bitcoin sale last quarter but said it was conducted to harvest a tax loss.
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Software analytics company MicroStrategy recorded a paper loss of over a billion dollars on its Bitcoin (BTC) holdings in 2022 but says it has no plans to stop trading the digital asset.
MicroStrategy released its 2022 Q4 and year-end earnings on Feb. 2 showing the recorded impairment charges on its BTC holdings, net of gains on sale, was nearly $1.3 billion over the full year 2022.
Despite the paper losses, on a Feb. 2 earnings call MicroStrategy’s chief financial officer, Andrew Kang, said:
“We may consider pursuing additional transactions that may take advantage of the volatility in Bitcoin prices, or other market dislocations that are consistent with our long-term Bitcoin strategy.”
On the call, MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor said the company measures its stock performance against “a number of different benchmarks,” saying “the most important benchmark is Bitcoin’s performance.”
Saylor added that since MicroStrategy first announced it was buying Bitcoin in August 2020, the company has “been able to outperform Bitcoin as an index” over that time.
He said the company’s stock is up 117% since August 2020, compared to Bitcoin’s gain of 98%, adding:
“The only real safe haven for an institutional investor is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the only universally acknowledged digital commodity, and so if you’re an investor, Bitcoin is your safe haven in this regard.”
Kang stated that MicroStrategy held a total of 132,500 BTC worth $1.84 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022. Of that, 14,890 BTC were held directly by the business, with the remaining held in its subsidiary MacroStrategy LLC.
Related: US institutions account for 85% of Bitcoin buying in ‘very positive sign’ — Matrixport
Late last year the company sold a portion of its Bitcoin holdings for the first time. Kang said that the 704 BTC were sold to harvest a tax loss of around $34 million and that even with the sale, the company “increased our net holdings by 2500 Bitcoin during the quarter.”
MicroStrategy’s overall revenue for the fourth quarter was $132.6 billion, reportedly beating Wall Street expectations. Its Q4 loss per share came in at $21.93.
At the time of writing, MicroStrategy’s stock price had fallen over 4% in after-hours trading, according to Yahoo Finance data.