Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway more than doubled its profit in the first quarter buoyed by gains in its insurance businesses and derivatives holdings. Berkshire saw a nearly four-fold increase in the gains on its portfolio of derivatives to $650 million. However, results were hindered by a $337 million loss on Texas Competitive Electric Holdings bonds.
The company posted $3.25 billion in earnings, translating to $1,966 per Class A share. That compares with $1.51 billion or $917 per share in the first quarter of last year. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment and derivative gains, were $1,615 a share, coming up short of analysts' estimates of $1,780 a share.
Berkshire’s insurance underwriting business reported a $54 million gain, reversing an $821 million loss a year ago, when results were hurt by a string of natural disasters around the globe. Manufacturing, service and retailing operations posted an $854 million profit, up 53% from a year ago, helped by the recent acquisition of chemicals maker Lubrizol.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A : NYSE : US$123676.00), Net Change: 1726.00, % Change: 1.42%, Volume: 1,336