By Justin Baer
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. swung to a quarterly profit on stock-market gains and better results from its insurance business.
Berkshire reported first-quarter net income of $11.7 billion, or $7,638 per Class A share equivalent, compared to a loss of $49.7 billion, or $30,653 per Class A share equivalent, in the year-earlier period.
Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, rose to $7.02 billion from $5.87 billion in the year prior.
The conglomerate runs a large insurance operation as well as railroad, utilities, industrial manufacturers, retailers and even auto dealerships. It also holds large investments, especially in the stock market. An accounting rule change in recent years has meant that Berkshire's earnings often reflect the larger performance of the stock market, while operating earnings more accurately reflect the firm's vast business operations.
Berkshire's insurance underwriting business had operating earnings of $764 million in the first quarter, up from $363 million a year ago. Insurance investment income slipped to $1.21 billion, from $1.39 billion.
Write to Justin Baer at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires