Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway 2Q profit up 41 percent; boost from Graham stock-swap deal

StocksAssociated Press

Warren Buffett's company says its second-quarter profit soared 41 percent on a significant investment gain from a stock-swap deal completed earlier this year.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Friday that its net income grew to $6.4 billion, or $3,889 per Class A share. That's up from $4.5 billion, or $2,763 per Class A share, in the same quarter a year ago.

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Berkshire's revenue improved 11 percent to $49.76 billion from last year's $44.69 billion.

Berkshire agreed earlier this year to acquire a Miami-based TV station from Graham Holdings Co. in exchange for most of its shares in the company that once owned The Washington Post. As part of that deal, Berkshire and Graham Holdings exchanged assets worth roughly $1.1 billion.

Berkshire recorded a $1.1 billion gain in the second quarter because that's when it took ownership of the WPLG television station and completed the exchange.

Buffett urges investors to pay more attention to the company's operating earnings because they exclude the swings in the value of investments and derivatives. Berkshire's operating earnings improved 11 percent to $4.3 billion, or $2,634 per Class A share.

Four analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Berkshire to report operating earnings per Class A share of $2,485.21.

Berkshire finished the second quarter with more than $55 billion cash on hand, so Buffett has the resources for an acquisition if he finds an attractive target.