Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Saturday reported a $12 billion second-quarter profit.
Warren Buffett's conglomerate reported a profit of $4.87 per Class B share. A year ago, Berkshire reported $4.3 billion in net income, or $1.73 per Class B share.
Buffett has long said Berkshire's operating earnings offer a better view of quarterly performance because they exclude investments and derivatives, which can vary widely.
By that measure, Berkshire reported operating earnings of $6.9 billion, or about $2.79 per Class B share. That's up from $4.1 billion, or about $1.67 per B share, a year ago.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected operating earnings of $2.27.
"The results here were really good across the board," said Jim Shanahan, a senior research analyst at Edward Jones, a financial services firm.
The increased profitability reflected improvements in Berkshire Hathaway's insurance operations and the broader health of the U.S. economy, Shanahan said.
Berkshire's revenue increased to $62.2 billion in the quarter from last year's $57.3 billion.
Berkshire's insurance unit, which includes Geico and several large reinsurance firms, reported a $943 million underwriting profit, compared to a $22 million loss a year ago.
BNSF railroad added $1.3 billion to Berkshire's profit, up from $958million last year.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns more than 90 companies, including railroad, clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company's net income. The company also has major investments in such companies as American Express, IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.