During the fourth quarter, net income rose to $6.29 billion, or $3,823 a share, from $5.48 billion, or $3,333, in the prior year. Operating earnings, excluding some investment outcomes, were $2,665 a share. Analysts had estimated an average of $2,717, according to Bloomberg.
Berkshire's profits rose as Buffett's many investments in subsidiaries including the insurer Geico continued to pay off. The company owns stakes in publicly traded companies, and also many businesses outright.
Speaking of his wholly owned businesses in Berkshire's manufacturing, service and retailing group, Buffett wrote that "absent a recession, earnings from the group will likely grow in 2017, in part because Duracell and Precision Castparts (both bought in 2016) will for the first time contribute a full year’s earnings to this group."
The most recent 13-F filing from Berkshire showed that the company continued to buy airline stocks even after calling the sector a "death trap for investors" during his 2013 annual shareholder meeting. The firm more than doubled its holding in Apple.
Berkshire's Class A shares have gained 29% in the past year to $255,040.00 a piece.
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