May 4, 2013 in Nation/World

Berkshire Hathaway posts strong earnings

Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. – Berkshire Hathaway’s first-quarter profit jumped 51 percent as its insurance companies performed well and the value of its investments soared.

Warren Buffett’s firm said Friday it earned $4.89 billion, or $2,977 per Class A share. That’s up from last year’s $3.25 billion net income, or $1,966 per Class A share.

The Omaha-based conglomerate said its revenue grew 15 percent to $43.87 billion over last year’s $38.15 billion. The earnings report was released as thousands of Berkshire shareholders were gathering in Omaha for today’s annual meeting.

Berkshire’s insurance companies, which include Geico and General Reinsurance, generated $901 million in underwriting profit because there were no major losses in the quarter. That’s far better than last year’s $54 million.

The BNSF railroad also performed well in the first quarter and contributed $798 million to Berkshire’s first-quarter profit. That’s up from last year’s $701 million thanks to significant growth in crude oil shipments and a total volume increase of 3 percent.

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