Profit at Buffett’s Berkshire falls 15 percent as costs rise

(Bloomberg photo by Daniel Acker)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett, said Friday that its second-quarter profit fell 15 percent as costs rose for its various businesses and it earned less from its investments.

Berkshire owns many companies, including battery maker Duracell, underwear seller Fruit of the Loom and candy company See’s. It also has major investments in Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and other companies.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company reported net income of $4.26 billion, or $2,592 per Class A share, during the quarter. That’s down from the $5 billion, or $3,042 per Class A share, that it reported in the same quarter a year ago.

Operating earnings came to $2,505 per Class A share, down from $2,803 per Class A share a year ago. Buffett has said operating earnings offer a better view of quarterly performance because they exclude investments and derivatives, which can vary widely.

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Revenue rose 6 percent to $57.52 billion.

The company said costs rose at its insurance businesses, railroads and financial products providers. Investment income fell while insurance underwriting posted a loss of $22 million compared with a profit of $337 million a year ago.

Berkshire’s Class A shares rose $1,629.80 to close at $270,000 Friday.


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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on BRK.A at


Keywords: Berkshire Hathaway, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings