By Trevor Hunnicutt
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) Inc, the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett, on Saturday said its quarterly operating profit doubled as its insurance business dodged hurricanes and benefited from lower taxes.
The strong result gives Buffett more cash to deploy even as the well-known bargain-hunting “value” investor has admitted struggling to find a place to put those earnings to work and resorted to buying back $928 million in his own company’s stock in the latest quarter.
Operating profit in the third quarter doubled to $6.88 billion from $3.44 billion a year earlier, and higher than the $6.11 billion expected by Wall Street, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Helping the company’s insurance operations were lower estimated liabilities from property and casualty insurance in prior years and lower taxes. The year prior included major losses due to three U.S. hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico.
Insurance underwriting income was $441 million in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $1.4 billion in the year-ago period.