Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will issue its third-quarter earnings report later today.
Bloomberg quotes analyst Gary Ransom of Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller in Hartford, Connecticut predicting that declining profits from Berkshire's insurance businesses will be offset by over $2 billion in gains from Berkshire's recent sale of PetroChina shares. Ranson is forecasting a profit (excluding PetroChina sales) of $2.28 billion, which works out to $1477 a share.
Berkshire makes a point of distinguishing between one-time gains or losses resulting from investments and its "operating" income from ongoing businesses, pointing out in its Q2 earnings news release:
"We do not wish investors to mistakenly focus on a bottom-line number affected by large investment gains that do not stem from economic accomplishments during the reporting period and that have no concurrent impact on the intrinsic value of the company. Both trends in our operating businesses and their health are best judged by income before investment gains or losses."
Warren Buffett Watch will have Berkshire's earnings numbers when they're released after today's closing bell.
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