Insurance Loss From Natural Disasters Cuts Profits at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.


On Friday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said that its third-quarter profit dropped 43 percent due to a $1.4 billion insurance underwriting loss from Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey, and earthquakes in Mexico.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate owns Geico and many other insurers, including General Reinsurance.

Berkshire said that it earned $4.07 billion, or around $1.65 per Class B share. That is down from $7.2 billion or $2.92 per Class B share.

Berkshire stated that without its investment and derivative gains, which can be unpredictable, its operating earnings were $3.44 billion, or $1.40 per share.

The analysts that were surveyed by FactSet anticipated Berkshire Hathaway to report operating earnings per Class B share of $1.59.

The company of Buffett generated revenue of $60.53 billion in the period.

Executives of Berkshire Hathaway do not routinely discuss quarterly earnings results.

Cathy Seifert, the CFRA Research analyst, said that the underwriting losses in the insurance businesses of Berkshire drove the quarterly result. Outside of insurance, the other businesses of Berkshire reported a modest 2.9 percent rise in operating profits.

Berkshire owns over 90 subsidiaries, including furniture, jewellery, and clothing firms. It also has major investments in such companies as Wells Fargo & Co. and Coca-Cola Co.

In after-hours trading Friday, Its Class B shares were down $1.12 to $186.15  following the releases of the earnings report.