Buffett's firm quadruples 3Q profit on investment gains

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Buffett's firm quadruples 3Q profit on investment gains
FILE- In this May 7, 2018, file photo, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett smiles during an interview in Omaha, Neb., with Liz Claman on Fox Business Network's "Countdown to the Closing Bell." Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reports earnings Saturday, Nov. 3. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company more than quadrupled its third-quarter profits because of a huge paper gain in the value of its investments, although its insurance and railroad businesses also improved.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Saturday that it earned .54 billion, or .52 per Class B share. That’s up from last year’s .47 billion, or .65 per B share, when insurance losses from several hurricanes hurt results.

Buffett says Berkshire’s operating earnings offer a better view of quarterly performance because they exclude investments and derivatives, which can vary widely.

By that measure, Berkshire reported operating earnings of .88 billion, or about .79 per Class B share. That’s up from .44 billion, or about .40 per B share.

Berkshire’s revenue grew to .45 billion in the quarter, up from .5 billion last year.