Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Saturday said fourth-quarter profit rose 32 percent, helped by improved results in its insurance operations and higher gains from investments and derivatives.
Net income rose to $5.48 billion, or $3,333 per Class A share, from $4.16 billion, or $2,529 per share, a year earlier.
Quarterly operating profit rose 18 percent to $4.67 billion, or $2,843 per share, from $3.96 billion, or $2,412 per share.
Analysts on average had forecast operating profit of $2,814 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose 7 percent to $51.82 billion.
Book value per share, which measures assets minus liabilities and which Buffett considers a good yardstick for Berkshire’s intrinsic worth, rose 6.4 percent from a year earlier to $155,501.
For all of 2015, profit rose 21 percent to $24.08 billion, or $14,656 per share. It would have edged lower but for a gain from the merger that created Kraft Heinz Co., Berkshire said. Operating profit rose 5 percent to $17.36 billion, or $10,564 per share.
Buffett, 85, has run Berkshire for nearly 51 years.
He has transformed it from a failing textile company into a conglomerate with roughly 90 businesses in such areas as insurance, railroads, energy, food, apparel and real estate.
The Omaha, Nebraska, company also has well more than $100 billion in equity investments, including American Express Co., Coca-Cola Co., IBM Corp., Kraft Heinz and Wells Fargo & Co.
Berkshire ended the year with $71.73 billion in cash. It spent some of it last month when it acquired industrial parts maker Precision Castparts Corp, Buffett’s largest acquisition.
In Friday trading, Berkshire’s Class A shares closed at $198,190.50, and its Class B shares closed at $131.92. Both are nearly unchanged this year.