Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway quarterly profit jumps almost one third
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Saturday said fourth-quarter profit rose 32 percent, helped by improved results in its insurance operations and higher gains from investments and derivatives.
Net income rose to $5.48 billion, or $3,333 per Class A share, from $4.16 billion, or $2,529 per share, a year earlier.
Quarterly operating profit rose 18 percent to $4.67 billion, or $2,843 per share, from $3.96 billion, or $2,412 per share.
Analysts on average had forecast operating profit of $2,814 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 7 percent to $51.82 billion.
Book value per share, which reflects assets minus liabilities and which Buffett considers a good yardstick for Berkshire's intrinsic worth, rose 3 percent from the end of September, to $155,501.
For all of 2015, profit rose 21 percent to $24.08 billion, or $14,656 per share. The gain from the merger that created Kraft Heinz Co prevented profit from edging lower, Berkshire said. Operating profit rose 5 percent to $17.36 billion, or $10,564 per share.
Buffett, 85, has run Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire for nearly 51 years. He has transformed it from a failing textile company into a conglomerate with roughly 90 businesses in such areas as insurance, railroads, energy, food, apparel and real estate.
Buffett's largest-ever acquisition, the $32 billion purchase of industrial parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, closed last month. It ended the year with $71.73 billion of cash. Continued...