Warren Buffett’s company reported a profit of nearly $ 12 billion in the first quarter of a year after a major loss when the value of its equity investments fell due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Berkshire Hathaway said on Saturday it gained $ 11.7 billion, or $ 7,638 per Class A share, in the first quarter as the paper value of its investment portfolio rebounded. A year earlier, Berkshire said it lost $ 49.7 billion, or $ 30,653 per share.
The conglomerate said that in addition to the investment gains, profits also improved across all of its major divisions – including insurance, utility, railroad, manufacturing and retail companies. – as the economy continued to recover from the pandemic in the first three months of this year.
Buffett has long said that Berkshire’s operating profits provide a better view of quarterly performance as they exclude investments and derivatives, which can vary widely. By this measure, Berkshire’s operating profit improved to $ 7.018 billion, or $ 4,577.10 per Class A share. This is an increase from $ 5.87 billion, or $ 3,617.62. USD per Class A share one year ago.
All four analysts interviewed by FactSet expected Berkshire to report operating income of $ 3,792.36 per Class A share.
Berkshire continued its streak of major share buybacks by investing $ 6.6 billion in its own stocks during the quarter. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company spent $ 25 billion on buyouts last year.
But Berkshire is still sitting on $ 145.439 billion in cash and short-term investments as Buffett has struggled to find major acquisitions for the company for several years.
Later Saturday, Buffett will spend several hours answering questions during an online version of the Berkshire Annual Meeting. Buffett will be joined to answer questions by Berkshire Vice-Presidents Charlie Munger, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain. The company is holding its meeting online for the second year in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, the event draws a crowd of over 40,000 people in Omaha, Nebraska.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns more than 90 companies, including BNSF Railways and Insurance, Utilities, Furniture and Jewelry companies. The company also has major investments in companies such as Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola, and Bank of America.