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Berkshire first-quarter profit falls as underwriting results drop

OMAHA, Neb., May 2 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Friday said quarterly profit fell 4 percent, as earnings from its insurance underwriting operations declined.

Net income fell to $4.71 billion, or $2,862 per Class A share, from $4.89 billion, or $2,977, a year earlier.

Quarterly operating profit fell 7 percent to $3.53 billion, or $2,149 per share, from $3.78 billion, or $2,302 per share.

Book value per share, Buffett's preferred measure of growth, rose 2.6 percent from year-end to $138,426 from $134,973.

Results were released a day before Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger welcome tens of thousands of shareholders to Berkshire's annual meeting in Omaha, part of a weekend of events that Buffett calls "Woodstock for Capitalists." (Reporting by Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel in Omaha, Nebraska; Editing by Bernard Orr)