Buffett Watch

Berkshire Hathaway Operating Earnings Rise 37%

Operating earnings at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increased by 36.8 percent to $3.81 billion in the third quarter.

A reported "loss" of $1.59 billion for Berkshire's derivatives positions, however, contributed to a 23.8 percent drop to $2.29 billion for the company's net earnings.

Buffett has often urged investors not to pay too much attention to net earnings, because they can swing wildly based on the current value of derivatives positions that the company will be holding for years to come. 

Berkshire's book value, a favorite Buffett metric, increased by 1.5 percent from the end of 2010 to reach $96,876 per Class A equivalent share as of September 30.

The company's recent stock buyback programsets an upper limit of 110 percent of book value for any repurchases.

At today's close of $115,806, the stock is 119 percent above the September 30 book value.

More detailed information is included in the company's 10-Q filingwith the SEC.

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