Warren Buffett's company reported a nearly US$12 billion profit in the first quarter a year after a major loss when the value of its stock investments plummeted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Berkshire Hathaway said Saturday that it earned US$11.7 billion, or US$7,638 per Class A share, during the first quarter as the paper value of its investment portfolio rebounded.
A year earlier, Berkshire reported losing US$49.7 billion, or US$30,653 per share.
The conglomerate said that besides the investment gains, profit also improved at all its major divisions — including insurance, utility, railroad, manufacturing and retail companies — as the economy continued to recover from the pandemic during the first three months of this year.
Buffett has long said Berkshire’s operating earnings offer a better view of quarterly performance because they exclude investments and derivatives, which can vary widely.
Later on Saturday, Buffett will spend several hours answering questions at an online version of Berkshire's annual meeting.
Buffett will be joined in answering questions by Berkshire vice chairmen Charlie Munger, Greg Abel and Ajit Jain.
The company is holding its meeting online for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Normally the event draws a crowd of more than 40,000 to Omaha, Nebraska.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns more than 90 companies, including the BNSF railroad and insurance, utility, furniture and jewelry businesses.
The company also has major investments in such companies as Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola and Bank of America. (AP)