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Berkshire Hathaway Q4 net earnings $5.478 billion

Staff writer |
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reported fourth quarter net earnings of $5.478 billion or $3,333 per Class A share.

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This is higher than the $4.155 billion or $2,529 per Class A share for the year-ago quarter.

Operating earnings rose to $4.673 billion or $2,843 per Class A share from $3.963 billion or $2,412 per Class A share in the prior year quarter.

Total revenue for the quarter to $51.82 billion from $48.259 billion in the same quarter last year.

For all of 2015, profit rose 21 percent to $24.08 billion, or $14,656 per share. The gain from the merger that created Kraft Heinz Co prevented profit from edging lower, Berkshire said. Operating profit rose 5 percent to $17.36 billion, or $10,564 per share.

Buffett's largest-ever acquisition, the $32 billion purchase of industrial parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, closed last month. It ended the year with $71.73 billion of cash.

Quarterly profit from insurance operations rose 25 percent to $1.34 billion, as improvement in reinsurance offset higher claims payouts in the Geico auto insurance unit.

Berkshire said gains from investments and derivatives quadrupled to $805 million. This in part reflected profits on stock sales and gains on long-term options contracts whose value is tied to the performance of the stock market.

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