Fabled value investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) on Saturday reported record third-quarter profits and also boosted its cash holdings as the company continued to post strong returns from its bets on traditional, large, consumer-oriented businesses.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Saturday, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company reported third-quarter net earnings of $16.5 billion, or $10,119 per Class A share equivalent, vs. $18.5 billion, or $11,280 a share, in the year-earlier period.
The year-ago earnings were some $2 billion higher due to unrealized investment gains. Operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, rose to $7.9 billion from $6.9 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Berkshire held $128 billion in cash or short-term Treasurys as of Sept. 30, the company said in the filing, up from $122 billion at the end of the second quarter.
Berkshire bought back about $700 million of its own shares in the third quarter, bringing its total buybacks for the year to $2.8 billion, the company said. Buffett, 89, is the largest shareholder, with nearly a third voting stake in the firm.
Buffett and Berkshire are known for their investments in traditional staple businesses like Kraft Heinz (KHC) , Coca Cola (KO) , General Motors (GM) and and Costco (COST) , though the so-labeled Oracle of Omaha has more recently been dabbling in less-traditional types of businesses, in particular e-commerce Amazon (AMZN) , which the company recently boosted its stake in by 11%.
Class A shares closed Friday at $323,400, up 5.7% for the year. In contrast, the S&P 500 is up 22% this year.