Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate led by Warren E. Buffett, reported first quarter net profit of $ 11.7 billion on Saturday, rising to profit from a year ago as the paper value of its earnings d investment was skyrocketing.
Using Berkshire’s preferred financial measure of operating profit, the company saw an almost 19% year-over-year gain as its wide range of subsidiaries – from power generation to road BNSF iron to consumer brands – improving their performance.
Berkshire reported $ 2.8 billion in investment gains in the quarter, up from $ 54.5 billion in losses in quarter 2020.
The conglomerate also repurchased $ 6.6 billion of shares during the quarter, as Mr. Buffett continues to spend his company’s huge cash reserve – currently more than $ 145 billion – to buy back shares of Berkshire rather than making huge acquisitions.
The earnings report was released hours before Berkshire prepared for its annual investor meeting, which for decades saw Mr Buffett’s loyalists travel to the company’s hometown of Omaha, New Brunswick. Brunswick, to celebrate one of the world’s best known investors.
This year, however, it will be held virtually again, accommodating travel in the event of a pandemic and rounding up restrictions. And for the first time, it will not be held in Omaha, but in Los Angeles, home to Charles T. Munger, the 97-year-old vice-president of Berkshire.
Berkshire’s annual meetings are known to provide a forum for company shareholders to ask Mr Buffett, 90, whatever they think.
Among the topics expected to be covered this year are both perennial topics such as policy and potential Berkshire buyout targets – and topics more uncomfortable for Mr Buffett, such as efforts to push U.S. companies to act. more on environmental and social issues. Mr Buffett has urged shareholders this year to reject proposals to force Berkshire to disclose more about its subsidiaries’ efforts to tackle climate change and diversity in the workplace, raising questions as to whether its approach is shifted.