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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy
Berkshire profit falls as underwriting loss offsets railroad gains
    2017-August-7  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

WARREN BUFFETT’S Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Friday reported a 15-percent drop in second-quarter profit, as lower investment gains and a loss from insurance underwriting offset improvement in its BNSF railroad business.

Operating profit also fell short of analyst forecasts, though Berkshire attributed much of the decline to currency fluctuations and its accounting for a major contract with the insurer American International Group Inc.

Net income for Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire fell to US$4.26 billion, or US$2,592 per Class A share, from US$5 billion, or US$3,042 per share, a year earlier. Operating profit declined 11 percent to US$4.12 billion, or US$2,505 per Class A share, from US$4.61 billion, or US$2,803 per share.

Analysts on average expected operating profit of about US$2,791 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Book value per share, Buffett’s preferred measure of growth, rose 2.7 percent from the end of March to US$182,816. The company’s stock price, meanwhile, set a record high Friday, with Class A shares closing up US$1,629.80 at US$270,000.

“They had a good quarter,” said Bill Smead, chief executive of Smead Capital Management Inc. in Seattle, which owns Berkshire shares. “The results reflect Berkshire’s positioning in the U.S. economy.”

BNSF saw profit rise 24 percent to US$958 million, helped by high single-digit percentage increases in freight revenue from consumer and industrial products, and double-digit increases from agricultural products and coal.

Profit from manufacturing, service and retailing units rose 10 percent to US$1.66 billion, helped by greater demand for products from its IMC International Metalworking unit.

Such gains helped offset a second straight quarterly loss from insurance underwriting, totaling $22 million compared with a year earlier $337 million profit.

Berkshire said that weakness reflected losses from currency changes, higher claims payouts at the Geico auto insurance unit, and the amortization of deferred charges from its January agreement to take on long-term AIG property and casualty risks in exchange for US$10.2 billion upfront.

That contract helped boost float, or the amount of insurance premiums collected before claims are paid and which help fund Berkshire’s growth, to US$107 billion from US$91 billion at year end. (SD-Agencies)

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