Saturday, 17 November, 2018


$3 billion bad weather blast batters Berkshire

Conrad Doyle | 04 November, 2017, 01:30

Berkshire's insurance claims following hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria resulted in another underwriting loss, which as Bloomberg's Noah Buhayar has pointed out, means 2017 will likely be the first time since 2002 that the business doesn't post an annual underwriting profit.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate owns Geico and several other insurers, including General Reinsurance. Meanwhile, the manufacturing operations - which expanded with Berkshire's $37 billion takeover of Precision Castparts that closed early past year - just cranked out its own record profit.

Berkshire said it incurred $1.95 billion of after-tax underwriting losses attributable to the hurricanes and natural disaster.

Berkshire reported third-quarter earnings of $2,094 per share, falling well short of Wall Street analysts forecast of $2,402, according to earnings-tracker Thomson Reuters.

30, book value increased by 8.9% since the end of 2016 to $187,435 per class A equivalent share.

Berkshire said it earned $4.07 billion, or about $1.65 per Class B share.

But the $3 billion pretax insurance losses Berkshire reported in this quarter weren't far behind the $3.4 billion in hurricane-related losses Berkshire recorded in 2005 when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma struck the Gulf Coast.

But investment income from insurance operations cushioned the blow, rising 23 percent to $1.04 billion.

Berkshire shares have risen 15 percent since the beginning of the year. Both were about 2 percent below their October 24 record highs.

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