Berkshire Hathaway trebles net income

9 November 2009

Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's investment firm, has announced that it tripled its profits in the third quarter of 2009.

The news came just days after Mr Buffett's company revealed that it was to buy railroad operator Burlington North Santa Fe Corporation (BNSF).

His firm will pay $100 a share to take over BNSF, in a deal worth $44 billion that includes Berkshire Hathaway taking on $10 billion worth of existing BNSF debt.

Net income in the third quarter rose to $3.2 billion from just more than $1 billion in the same period last year.

Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have seen the value of their investments rise in line with the company's net income.

Last year, Class A shares made investors net earnings per share worth $682, dividends now worth $2,087.

But operating earnings for the first nine months of the year have dropped in comparison with 2008.

They fell to $5.5 billion, down from $6.3 billion this time last year.

By Claire Archer

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