Berkshire Hathaway’s operating earnings rise nearly 7%, cash pile approaches $150 billion


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Warren Buffett tours the grounds at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha Nebraska.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday reported a solid increase in second-quarter operating earnings, while the cash hoard at Warren Buffett‘s conglomerate swelled to nearly $150 billion.

The Omaha-based giant’s operating earnings — which encompass profits made from the myriad of businesses owned by the company, like insurance, railroads and utilities — totaled $10.043 billion last quarter, 6.6% higher than the figure from the same quarter a year ago.

Net income totaled $35.91 billion, compared with a $43.62 billion loss during the second quarter last year. The strong results were bolstered by a jump in Berkshire’s insurance underwriting and investment income.

Berkshire reported a near $26 billion unrealized gain from its investments as its gigantic stake in Apple led the market rally in the second quarter. The tech giant soared nearly 18% during the quarter and Berkshire’s bet has ballooned to $177.6 billion.

The “Oracle of Omaha” trimmed his Chevron stake by $1.4 billion to $19.4 billion at the end of June. Shares of Chevron have significantly lagged the broader market this year, down more than 11%. The S&P 500 has rallied almost 17% in 2023.

Cash hoard swells

Berkshire’s massive cash pile grew to $147.377 billion at the end of June, near a record and much higher than the $130.616 billion in the first quarter.

Share repurchase activity slowed down as the conglomerate’s stock climbed back to a record high. The company spent just about $1.4 billion in buybacks during the quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to $5.8 billion.

The conglomerate’s Class A shares hit a new record close of $541,000 on Thursday, exceeding the conglomerate’s previous high of $539,180 reached on March 22, 2022. The stock has gained 13.8% this year.

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