Operating income at Berkshire Hathaway nearly doubled in the third quarter

Operating income at Berkshire Hathaway nearly doubled in the third quarter

FILE PHOTO: Berkshire Hathaway shareholders walk past a video screen at the company's annual convention in Omaha on May 4, 2013. REUTERS / Rick Wilking / File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Reuters)BRKa.N), billionaire-led conglomerate Warren Buffett, said Saturday its operating income nearly doubled year-over-year, driven by stronger insurance results and lower taxes.

The company's massive insurance business was supported by lower estimated liabilities from property and casualty insurance in previous years and lower taxes. The previous year included major losses from three US hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico.

Operating income increased from $ 3.44 billion a year ago to $ 6.88 billion in the second quarter, ahead of Wall Street's expected $ 6.11 billion.

Underwriting income was $ 441 million for the third quarter, compared to a loss of $ 1.4 billion for the same period last year.

"This is absolutely one of the largest quarterly earnings reports ever released by a US corporation," said Bill Smead, chief executive of Smead Capital Management, Seattle, a shareholder in Berkshire.

Smead pointed out that Buffett had told investors that tax policy changes would help Berkshire and be positive for the company overall.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Arrangement of James Dalgleish

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