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Profit jumps 82% at Buffett’s firm but virus hurts business

Profit jumps 82% at Buffett’s firm but virus hurts business

Omaha, Neb. —  Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, reported an 82% jump in its third-quarter profit, as the value of its investment portfolio soared. But the company says the coronavirus pandemic continued to hurt its assorted businesses, including BNSF railroad and Geico insurance.

Berkshire said Saturday that it earned $30.1 billion during the quarter.

That’s up from $16.5 billion a year ago. Buffett says operating earnings offer a better view of the company’s performance because they exclude investment gains.

By that measure, Berkshire’s operating earnings fell by 32%, to $5.49 billion. Berkshire says it spent $9 billion repurchasing its own shares during the third quarter.

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