Tags: warren buffett | berkshire hathaway | earnings | profit

Berkshire Profit Declines 17 Percent to $4.16 Billion on Investments

Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 08:40 AM

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said fourth-quarter profit slipped 17 percent on investments.

Net income fell to $4.16 billion, or $2,529 per share, from $4.99 billion, or $3,035, a year earlier, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said Saturday in a statement on its website. Operating earnings were $2,412 per share, missing the $2,702 estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Buffett, 84, is aiming to make 2015 a celebratory year. He took control of Berkshire five decades ago and transformed it from a struggling textile maker into a sprawling business empire. Early on, he bought insurers, then used premiums from those businesses for stock picks and acquisitions. Operations now include electric utilities, manufacturers, retailers and one of the largest U.S. railroads.

“The growth rate’s impressive,” Meyer Shields, an analyst at Keefe Bruyette & Woods, said in a phone interview before results were announced. “It’s a very successful, long-term utilization of the investable cash related to the insurance business, with no enormous mistakes.”

While investment results can cause volatility in earnings, Berkshire now derives most of its income from operating subsidiaries. Many units have benefited in recent quarters from a rebound in the U.S. economy. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter after gaining at a 5 percent pace in the three months ended Sept. 30.

Buffett often highlights the prospects for business in the U.S. Most of Berkshire’s units are based in the country, and the billionaire continues to buy more. Last year, he agreed to purchase Van Tuyl Group, a network of car dealerships, as well as battery-maker Duracell.

He’s also been expanding in other nations. Berkshire acquired an electric transmission business in Alberta last year and said last week that it was purchasing Detlev Louis Motorradvertriebs GmbH, a motorcycle apparel and accessories retailer based in Hamburg, for about $450 million.

Climbing earnings at Berkshire’s operating units have helped push the company’s market value past $360 billion, making it the fourth-largest publicly traded business in the world. Class A shares have risen 29 percent in the last year to $221,180, double the gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.


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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said fourth-quarter profit slipped 17 percent on investments. Net income fell to $4.16 billion, or $2,529 per share, from $4.99 billion, or $3,035, a year earlier, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said Saturday in a statement on its website.
warren buffett, berkshire hathaway, earnings, profit
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2015-40-28
Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 08:40 AM
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