Berkshire Hathaway, Inc, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, on Friday said its third-quarter profit rose as strength in the railroad and utility businesses, as well as investment gains, offset weaker results in the insurance units.
Berkshire earned $3.92 billion, or $2,373 per Class A share, compared with $2.28 billion, or $1,380 per share, a year earlier. Book value, Buffett's preferred measure of the company's worth, rose to $111,718 per Class A share, up 11.9 percent since year end.
The company's Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad reported a gain in revenue on higher volumes, leading to stronger earnings. Meanwhile, the utilities business was able to charge higher prices, and a real estate brokerage housed within the energy business grew by acquisition, adding to results.Regardless of what sectors accounted for increase in earnings, the increase in earnings are incredible concerning the state of the economy this past year. Rounding the numbers: the company earned almost $4 billion this past quarter compared with a bit more than $2 billion one year ago. One also has to remember that one of his biggest energy holdings, COP, has struggled with production this past year (compared to the previous year) as well as natural gas prices.