Buffett firm's 4Q up 49 pct. on paper gains

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm •  Published: March 1, 2013

The biggest improvement in Berkshire's operating businesses came in its insurance unit, which posted an underwriting loss $19 million in the fourth quarter versus the previous year's $107 million underwriting loss.

Buffett praised Berkshire's insurance managers at Geico, General Reinsurance and other companies for increasing the amount of money Berkshire gets to invest in exchange for writing insurance to $73billion.

"Our insurance operations shot the lights out last year," Buffett said.

Altogether Berkshire's five most-profitable non-insurance businesses contributed $10.1 billion of pre-tax earnings.

Berkshire owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, 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 Omaha, Neb., company also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co., IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.


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Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com