"The railroad [business] is down considerably in the first quarter, and will most likely remain down for the year," Buffett, also known as the Oracle of Omaha, said at his annual shareholders meeting. In 2014, Berkshire said its BNSF, its railroad operation, had let investors down, but referred to the operation as its "most important" non-insurance business.
Buffett displayed a slide with preliminary first-quarter after tax earnings, which showed Berkshire's railroad, utilities and energy segment fell $221 million year over year.
The slide also showed a $267 million decline within the firm's insurance underwriting business. Buffett said there were more catastrophe insurance payments than usual in the first quarter due to hailstorms.