Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings on Saturday, boosted by its insurance underwriting policies and an accounting change that previously caused a first-quarter loss worth more than $1 billion.
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Earnings for the multinational conglomerate, whose earning power is largely concentrated in the insurance sector, jumped to $6.89 billion, or roughly $4,190 per Class A share, from $4.12 billion, or $2,505 per share, in the year-ago period.
In May, the company posted a rare $1.1 billion first-quarter loss, largely due to an accounting change that required it to report unrealized gains or losses in stock investments as net income. Analysts at Thomson Reuters anticipated shares would rise to $3,387 per share.
And last year, Berkshire reported net earnings of $44.9 billion. Almost two-thirds of that -- $29 billion -- stemmed from President Trump’s business-friendly tax overhaul that was signed into law in December.
A large bulk of Berkshire, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, includes stock holdings. Although its biggest stake is in Apple Inc. (which became the first U.S.-listed company to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization this week), other notable names include Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola and American Express. The billionaire investor said Berkshire ended June with a $47.2 billion stake in Apple.
In the 1960s, when Berkshire Hathaway first began trading publicly, shares cost about $11. Today, it’s at $301,785, for a gain of 2 million percent.