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Berkshire Hathaway Profit Up

August 3, 1998

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported Monday that its profit more than quadrupled in the fiscal second quarter due largely to gains from the sale of its investments in zero coupon Treasury bonds.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s company earned $1.176 billion, or $947 a share, for the period ending June 30, compared with $278 million, or $226 a share, a year earlier.

But excluding investment gains, profit rose 22 percent to $312 million, or $251 per share, from $255 million, or $207 per share. The gain was led by its Geico automobile insurance unit _ Berkshire’s largest operation.

Berkshire’s class A stock, the most expensive on the New York Stock Exchange, rose $750, or 1 percent, to $70,850. Its class B stock rose $23, also 1 percent, to $2,365.

The Omaha-based company, which has stakes in such companies as Coca-Cola, Gillette, American Express and Walt Disney, said investment gains soared to $864 million from $23 million in 1997.

Berkshire’s net earnings for the first half of the year were $1.898 billion, or $1,529 per share, up from $562 million from the year before, or $456 per share.

During the second quarter, Berkshire announced plans to acquire Stamford, Conn.-based General Re, the largest reinsurer in the United States and third-largest in the world, for $22 billion worth of stock.

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