The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said on Saturday morning that it earned $7.86 billion in operating profits during the third quarter, up from $6.88 billion last year. .
However, net earnings slipped to $16.5 billion, or $10,119 per Class A share, compared with $18.5 billion, or $11,280 per share, last year, roughly an 11 percent decline. That’s largely due to an accounting change, which required Berkshire to report unrealized gains or losses in stock investments as net income.
The company also reported the U.S.-China trade war and a stronger U.S. dollar weighed on some of its profits, particularly in the manufacturing, service and retailing businesses.
Stock prices also impeded the conglomerate's willingness to make a large acquisition. Despite sitting on a record pile of $128.1 billion in cash and equivalents, Buffett did not make any big purchases. Instead, Buffett repurchased $700 million of Berkshire stock.
Berkshire’s financial reach extends to almost every sector of the economy, and it owns a number of marketable, blue chip-stocks that are valued at $170 billion (excluding the company’s shares of Kraft Heinz). Those stocks include Apple, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Southwest Airlines, American Express and General Motors.
The company also has earning power concentrated in the insurance sector, including Geico, which helped to cushion its results.