Buffett’s firm quadruples 3Q profit on investment gains

Warren Buffett’s company more than quadrupled its third-quarter profits because of a huge paper gain in the value of its investments, although its insurance and railroad businesses also improved.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Saturday that it earned $18.54 billion, or $7.52 per Class B share. That’s up from last year’s $2.47 billion, or $1.65 per B share, when insurance losses from several hurricanes hurt results.

Buffett says Berkshire’s operating earnings offer a better view of quarterly performance because they exclude investments and derivatives, which can vary widely.

By that measure, Berkshire reported operating earnings of $6.88 billion, or about $2.79 per Class B share. That’s up from $3.44 billion, or about $1.40 per B share.

Berkshire’s revenue grew to $63.45 billion in the quarter, up from $59.5 billion last year.

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