Gerald Miller | The Washington City Times
Berkshire Hathaway’s operating income rebounded as the conglomerate’s businesses recovered from the pandemic. Chairman Warren Buffett continued to aggressively buy back Berkshire shares in the first quarter, but at a slightly slower pace.
Berkshire reported operating income of $ 7.018 billion in the first quarter, up from $ 5.871 billion in the same period a year ago. The conglomerate’s mishmash of businesses, including insurance, transportation, utilities, retail, and manufacturing, saw signs of recovery amid the reopening of the economy.
During the first quarter, the company bought back $ 6.6 billion worth of Berkshire stock, after a record $ 24.7 billion last year instead of closing deals. The conglomerate registered $ 9 billion in share buybacks in the fourth quarter.
Berkshire’s equity investment also posted solid gains, up about $ 2.8 billion in the past quarter. However, Buffett told shareholders not to focus on quarterly swings in investment gains and losses.
“The amount of investment gains (losses) in any given quarter is usually meaningless and provides net earnings per share figures that can be extremely misleading to investors with little or no understanding of accounting rules,” Berkshire said in a statement.
Thanks to the buyback program and a recovery in operations, Berkshire’s “B” shares rose by more than 18% in 2021 to a record high.
The conglomerate’s total revenue was $ 64.6 billion last quarter, higher than the Street’s estimate of $ 63.66 billion, according to Refinitiv.
Berkshire’s annual shareholders’ meeting kicks off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET in Los Angeles in the presence of Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger. The event will take place virtually without attendees for the second time.
This is the latest news. Please check again for updates.
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