Berkshire Hathaway Earnings Up

November 13, 2000

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has reported third-quarter profits this year nearly doubled those from 1999.

Modest insurance holdings gains helped Berkshire see a 90-percent increase in net earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Berkshire earned $797 million, or $523 per Class A share, up from $420 million, or $276 per share for the same quarter 1999.

Last year’s dismal profits were impacted largely by General Re and GEICO. The 1999 drop in earnings at General Re were partially affected by catastrophes, including Hurricanes Floyd and Irene. Berkshire acquired the company in December 1998.

Gains in the company’s insurance holdings were offset by an underwriting loss of $135 million at General Re, but the company expects it to provide commensurate benefits in future years.

GEICO showed only a minimal gain in the number of policyholders in the past three months despite aggressive advertising campaigns by the company. Rates at Geico will likely increase.

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