Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday reported a big jump in third-quarter operating earnings, while sitting on a record amount of cash as Warren Buffett saw few deal making opportunities. The Omaha-based conglomerate’s operating earnings — which encompass profits made from the myriad of wholly owned businesses such as insurance, railroads and utilities — totaled $10.761 billion last quarter. That’s 40.6% higher than the $7.651 billion earned from the same quarter a year ago.
Berkshire held a record level of cash at the end of September — $157.2 billion — topping the $149.2 billion high set in the third quarter of 2021. The “Oracle of Omaha” has been taking advantage of surging bond yields, buying up short-term Treasury bills yielding at least 5%. The conglomerate owned $126.4 billion worth of such investments at the end of the third quarter, compared to about $93 billion at the end of last year.
Why it matters
Buyback activity continued to slow down as Berkshire shares roared to a record high during the quarter. The firm spent $1.1 billion to repurchase shares, bringing the nine-month total to approximately $7 billion. Berkshire Class A shares have rallied nearly 14% this year. After reaching an all-time high on Sept. 19, shares have fallen about 6% from the peak.