Berkshire Hathaway First-quarter Earnings Decline

By Wallace WitkowskiMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. [s:brk.b] said late Friday that net and operating earnings declined in the first quarter from a year ago. The company said first-quarter net income fell to $4.06 billion, or $2,469 a share, from $5.59 billion, or $3,401 a share, in the year ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $2,674 a share. Operating earnings for the quarter declined to $3.56 billion from $3.74 billion in the year-ago quarter. Berkshire's class B shares were down 0.3% at $166.01 after hours, while Class A shares were flat at $250,000. Late Thursday, Buffett said he dumped a third of his stake in International Business Machines Corp. after revaluing the company, sending IBM shares down 2.5% on Friday.

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