Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, substantially recovered from the ill economic effects of the pandemic in the second quarter, reporting on Saturday that it had $28.1 billion in net earnings, up from $26.3 billion a year earlier.
Its biggest gains were in its railroad, utilities and energy businesses, which had all suffered significant declines in 2020 as the pandemic significantly slowed the world economy.
“Over the second half of 2020 and continuing in 2021,” the company said, many of its manufacturing, service and retailing businesses “experienced significant recoveries in revenues and earnings, in some instances exceeding prepandemic levels.”
Berkshire also reported slower repurchases of its own stock, to a little over $6 billion during the quarter, down from $6.6 billion in the first quarter.
The conglomerate reported operating income of $6.69 billion through June 30, a gain of 21 percent from the same quarter last…