Berkshire’s operating profit rose to $7.9 billion, up from $6.9 billion a year earlier, boosted by gains across its holdings. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s performance is tied to its many subsidiaries — which include GEICO, railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe and consumer brands like Duracell, Dairy Queen and paint maker Benjamin Moore — as well as a massive investment portfolio.
Berkshire Hathaway also purchased $700 million of its own stock in the third quarter, an uptick from the $442 million it bought last quarter. The company purchased $1.7 billion of its own shares in the first quarter.
Previously, the company did not allow stock buybacks. The board changed a rule last year to allow the company to begin purchasing back billions of dollars worth of stock, a practice that has been criticized by some analysts as inflating share prices.