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

Markets Associated Press

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.

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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.

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.

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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 https://www.zacks.com/ap/BRK.A

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Keywords: Berkshire Hathaway, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings