Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) posted a $35.5 billion first-quarter profit on Saturday, reflecting gains from stocks such as Apple Inc, while higher investment income and a rebound at car insurer Geico bolstered operating results.
Berkshire also sped up repurchases of its own stock, buying back $4.4 billion, while paring its investments in other stocks such as Chevron Corp (CVX.N), which is still a major holding.
Results were released ahead of Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, part of a weekend that draws tens of thousands of people to the city, reported Reuters. Buffett, 92, has run Berkshire since 1965, transforming it from a struggling textile company into a conglomerate with dozens of businesses including Geico, the BNSF railroad, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and manufacturing and retail units including See’s Candies and Dairy Queen ice cream.
The diversification has led many investors, not just Buffett fans, to view Berkshire as a stable long-term investment even amid recession fears and concerns about the banking industry.
Net income equaled $24,377 per Class A share and rose from $5.58 billion, or $3,784 per share, a year earlier.
That in part reflected a 27% jump in Apple’s (AAPL.O) stock price, leaving Berkshire with a $151 billion stake in the iPhone maker.