Berkshire Hathaway’s Profit Fell in the Third Quarter

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Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by the billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, on Saturday reported a sharp decrease in earnings in the third quarter, reflecting the turbulent financial markets as well as a slowdown in the U.S. economic recovery with a spike in Covid-19 cases. Profits fell by a third to $10 billion, down from $30 billion in the same three months of 2020, when the economy was still in the process of reopening from pandemic shutdowns.

Berkshire’s bottom line was dragged down by its giant investment portfolio, which fell 85 percent from a year ago. But profits at Berkshire’s operating businesses, which include a railroad as well as a variety of manufacturing and retail businesses that mirror the broader U.S. economy, also disappointed. Income there rose just 18 percent from a year ago. That was much less than the 40 percent jump that some analysts has predicted, and slower than the 21 increase in profits those operating…

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