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Berkshire Hathaway Q3 Earnings BRK

Berkshire Hathaway Q3 Earnings BRK

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.

Andrew Harnik | AP

Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday posted a solid rise in third-quarter operating profit despite growing recession fears, as Warren Buffett continued to buy back his shares at a modest pace.

The Omaha-based conglomerate’s operating earnings — which include profits from the conglomerate’s myriad businesses, such as insurance, railroads and utilities — were $7.761 billion in the third quarter, up 20% from the same period last year.

Insurance investment income was $1.408 billion, compared to $1.161 billion a year earlier. Earnings from the company’s utilities and energy businesses were $1.585 billion, up from $1.496 billion a year earlier. Insurance suffered a loss of $962 million, however, while railroad earnings fell to $1.442 billion from $1.538 billion in 2021.

Berkshire spent $1.05 billion on share buybacks during the quarter, bringing its total for the nine months to $5.25 billion. The pace of buybacks was in line with the $1 billion bought in the second quarter. The repurchases were well below CFRA’s expectations, as its analyst estimated it would be similar to the total of $3.2 billion in the first quarter.

However, Berkshire posted a net loss of $2.69 billion in the third quarter, compared with a profit of $10.34 billion a year earlier. The quarterly loss was largely due to a decline in Berkshire’s stock holdings amid a tumultuous market rally.

Berkshire suffered a $10.1 billion loss on its investments during the quarter, bringing its 2022 shortfall to $63.9 billion. The legendary investor again told investors that the amount of investment losses in any given quarter is “usually meaningless.”

Shares of Buffett’s conglomerate have outperformed the broader market this year, with Class A shares down about 4% versus S&P 500a 20% drop. Shares fell 0.6% in the third quarter.

Buffett continued to buy the dip Occidental Petroleum in the third quarter, as Berkshire’s stake in the oil giant reached 20.8%. In August, Berkshire received regulatory approval to buy up to 50%, fueling speculation that it could eventually buy all of Houston-based Occidental.

The conglomerate amassed a cash pile of nearly $109 billion at the end of September, compared with a total of $105.4 billion at the end of June.



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