Berkshire Hathaway Reports 18% Gain in Operating Profit, With Its Cash Pile at Record $149 Billion
The continued recovery of railroad, utilities and energy businesses has contributed to the double-digit increase.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway saw an 18% gain in after-tax operating profit in the third quarter, up to $6.47 billion from $5.48 billion in the same quarter last year, CNBC reports.
The continuous recovery of railroad, utilities and energy businesses has contributed to the growth, and the company's cash pile sat at an all-time high of $149.2 billion in September, up from $144.1 billion in the second quarter, despite Berkshire's aggressive share buybacks.
In the third quarter, Berkshire bought back $7.6 billion of its own stock for a total of $20.2 billion in a nine-month period. Last year, the company purchased a record $24.7 billion of its own stock.
Operating earnings from Berkshire's railroad, utilities and energy segment increased 11% year over year to $3.03 billion in the third quarter.
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"Beginning in the third quarter of 2020, many of our businesses experienced significantly higher sales and earnings relative to the second quarter, reflecting higher customer demand," the company said in the report. "The extent of the effects over longer terms cannot be reasonably estimated at this time."
Berkshire's overall earnings dropped to $10.3 billion in the third quarter, a more than 60% year-over-year decrease. Last quarter, the return from the company's equity investments totaled $3.8 billion compared to its $24.8 billion increase the year prior.
But Buffett advises investors not to be overly concerned with Berkshire's fluctuating returns from one quarter to the next, as the figures for net earnings per share can be misleading.
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Buffett, known as "the Oracle of Omaha," is one of the most successful investors of all time, with a net worth of more than $100 billion.