Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recovering from coronavirus woes

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Saturday reported improved quarterly operating results. —Reuters pic
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Saturday reported improved quarterly operating results. —Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, Aug 7 — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Saturday reported improved quarterly operating results, as many businesses owned by the billionaire’s conglomerate recovered from the early depths of the coronavirus pandemic.

Berkshire’s manufacturing, service and retailing businesses had struggled a year earlier as economic activity plunged, job losses soared and shoppers stayed home.

But in its latest quarterly report, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said many of those businesses were posting significant recoveries in earnings and revenue, some topping pre-pandemic levels, despite supply chain disruptions and higher costs.

Another sign Berkshire is faring better is that it did not repeat a caution from its previous quarterly report, that other operating businesses were still facing adverse effects from the pandemic.

Second-quarter operating profit rose 21 per cent to US$6.69 billion (RM28.2 billion), or about US$4,424 per Class A share, from US$5.51 billion, or about US$3,463 per share, a year earlier.

Net income, including gains from common stock investments such as Apple Inc and Bank of America Corp, rose 7 per cent to US$28.1 billion, or US$18,488 per Class A share, from US$26.3 billion, or US$16,314 per share, a year earlier.

Berkshire also said it had repurchased about US$6 billion of stock in the quarter, boosting total buybacks to more than US$37 billion since the end of 2019.

The company’s share count declined further in July, suggesting Berkshire’s stock repurchases have continued. — Reuters

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