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Berkshire Hathaway Q3 profit down

Staff Writer |
Berkshire Hathaway reported a drop in profit for the third quarter, as its insurance business reported losses hurt largely by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and an earthquake in Mexico.

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Berkshire is a holding company with a number of operating subsidiaries like auto insurer Geico, reinsurer General Re, railroad BNSF, lubricant maker Lubrizol, energy utilities and a host of other manufacturing and retail companies.

The company's insurance underwriting business reported an operating loss of $1.44 billion compared to an earnings of $272 million last year.

Insurance investment income rose to $1.04 billion from $850 million last year. Railroad, utilities and energy unit's operating earnings for the quarter rose to $2.01 billion from $1.95 billion last year.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway reported third-quarter profit of $4.07 billion or $2,473 per class A share, down from $7.20 billion or $4,379 per share Class A share last year.

Results for the quarter were impacted by three major hurricanes - Harvey, Irma and Maria - and an earthquake in Mexico.

Excluding items, operating earnings for the third quarter was $3.44 billion or $2,094 per share, down from $4.85 billion or $2,951 per share last year.

At September 30, 2017, Berkshire's book value increased by 8.9% since year-end 2016 to $187,435 per Class A equivalent share.


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