Buffett Watch

Berkshire Hathaway Q2 Earnings Up 33%

Berkshire Hathaway's second quarter net earnings increased 33% to $3.1 billion ($2018/share) in the second quarter of this year, compared to $2.3 billion ($1522/share) in the same quarter last year.  Operating earnings are up 22% to $2.5 billion ($1625/share).

Insurance-underwriting accounts for about 25% of those operating earnings, with roughly 33% coming from insurance-investment and 40% from non-insurance businesses.

Revenue came in at $27.4 billion, up 13% from last year.

Bloomberg notes that profit before investment gains jumped 22% to $2.51 billion, topping the forecast of Credit Suisse's Charles Gates, who had predicted underwriting profits would fall.

In its 10-Q filing with the SEC, Berkshire repeats its mantra on acquisitions: "Berkshire’s long-held acquisition strategy is to purchase businesses with consistent earnings, good returns on equity, able and honest management and at sensible prices."  Buffett's stated desire to make a major acquisition is prompting speculation that he may move relatively soon since stock prices have fallen and a credit crunch is making it harder for private equity firms to make competing bids.

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