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Berkshire Hathaway’s quarterly profit spikes

OMAHA, Neb. – Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s second-quarter profit jumped 46 percent as Warren Buffett’s company reported big paper gains on the value of its investments and derivative contracts.

On Friday, Berkshire reported net income of $4.54 billion, or $2,763 per Class A share. That’s up from $3.1 billion, or $1,882 per Class A share, last year.

The biggest factor behind the big swing in earnings was the estimated value of Berkshire’s investments and derivatives. This year, those were worth $622 million. Last year, Berkshire recorded a $612 million paper loss on those.

Berkshire’s revenue grew 16 percent to $44.69 billion as its more than 80 subsidiaries generally performed well.

Horse slaughterhouses blocked from opening

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A federal judge has temporarily halted plans by companies in New Mexico and Iowa to start slaughtering horses next week.

U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo on Friday issued a restraining order in a lawsuit brought by The Humane Society of the United States and other groups. They contend the Department of Agriculture failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing permits that would allow the first horse slaughters in the U.S. since 2006.

Two slaughterhouses – one in Roswell, N.M., and another in Sigourney, Iowa – were set to open Monday. But the Albuquerque-based judge on Friday issued the restraining order and scheduled another hearing for next week.

Dell founder’s new offer gets board agreement

Dell’s board has agreed to an increased offer from founder Michael Dell that would add a special dividend to shareholders.

The Round Rock, Texas, company said a group led by its founder and the investment firm Silver Lake Partners will tack a one-time shareholder payout of 13 cents per share to an offer they made last week to buy the company for $13.75 per share.

Shareholders were scheduled to vote Friday on a lower offer to buy the company for $13.65 per share. That vote was postponed.

WTO sides with U.S. in chicken export feud

WASHINGTON – The U.S. is claiming victory in a long-standing dispute over chicken exports with China.

That’s because the World Trade Organization largely ruled in favor of the U.S. in a decision announced Friday.

The U.S. appealed to the WTO in 2011 after China accused the U.S. of dumping and imposed tariffs on American imports of chicken parts.

The U.S. claimed the tariffs violated international trade rules and says that tens of thousands of jobs were affected by the tariffs.

Facebook share price surpasses IPO value

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Facebook’s stock has closed above its IPO price for the first time since the online social networking leader made its debut on Wall Street more than 14 months ago.

The shares gained 56 cents to finish Friday’s session at $38.05. That’s the stock’s highest closing price since ending its first day of trading at $38.23 in May of last year.

The stock has been soaring since last week when Facebook reported better second-quarter earnings than anticipated.

Facebook Inc. priced its initial public offering at $38 per share amid lofty expectations that investors would clamor for a stake in one of the world’s best-known websites.

Instead, worries about the company’s growth prospects triggered a sell-off that dropped the stock as low as $17.55.


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