Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Berkshire Hathaway Inc

Berkshire Hathaway’s Profit Fell in the Third Quarter

Berkshire Hathaway’s Profit Fell in the Third Quarter

Business
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 percen...
Berkshire Hathaway Shakes Off the Ill Effects of the Pandemic

Berkshire Hathaway Shakes Off the Ill Effects of the Pandemic

Business
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 ...
Mobile Home Owners Fear Evictions as Pandemic Protections End

Mobile Home Owners Fear Evictions as Pandemic Protections End

Business
In the meantime, owners of mobile homes have had little choice but to rely on the good graces of the dominant financing firms.As Ms. Burnworth found out, that can be tough. Her unemployment checks were not enough to cover her costs after she lost several short-term jobs, including one with the Census Bureau. She sought a loan modification from 21st Mortgage to reduce her monthly payments, but she said the company was unwilling to offer her one — even after she began getting regular checks in August from the government to care for her son.In a statement, Clayton Homes, the parent company of 21st Mortgage, said it didn’t make loan modifications, believing that offering borrowers a short-term credit for a missed payment works better. The company said it had provided Ms. Burnworth with credits...
Lithium Mining Projects May Not Be Green Friendly

Lithium Mining Projects May Not Be Green Friendly

Business
Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers and environmental groups because it is expected to use billions of gallons of precious ground water, potentially contaminating some of it for 300 years, while leaving behind a giant mound of waste.“Blowing up a mountain isn’t green...
Warren Buffett’s Successor at Berkshire Hathaway Is Likely to Be Gregory Abel

Warren Buffett’s Successor at Berkshire Hathaway Is Likely to Be Gregory Abel

Business
During his decades-long career, Warren E. Buffett has fielded questions on perhaps the broadest array of topics ever asked of a chief executive. But in more recent years, no question has been more pointed than who would succeed Mr. Buffett as chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate he built into a $631 billion colossus.In a seemingly off-handed way, Mr. Buffett has finally answered that question.Gregory E. Abel, who oversees Berkshire’s non-insurance operations, is next in line to lead the company, Mr. Buffett confirmed to CNBC in an interview broadcast on Monday.“The directors are in agreement that if something were to happen to me tonight, it would be Greg who’d take over tomorrow morning,” said Mr. Buffett, who turns 91 in August.An assistant to Mr. Buffett ...
Berkshire Hathaway Shows a Rebound From the Pandemic

Berkshire Hathaway Shows a Rebound From the Pandemic

Business
Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren E. Buffett, reported $11.7 billion in net earnings in the first quarter on Saturday, swinging to a profit from a $49.7 billion loss a year ago as the paper value of its investment gains soared.Using Berkshire’s preferred financial metric, operating earnings, the company showed a nearly 19 percent year-on-year gain as its wide array of subsidiaries — from energy production to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad to consumer brands — improved their performances.The earnings report came hours before Berkshire held its annual investor meeting. Climate change, and Berkshire’s response to pandemic’s market swings in March 2020, were among the topics shareholders asked about on Saturday.When one shareholder asked why Mr. Buffett had recommen...
Warren Buffett Opposes Climate and Diversity Proposals for Berkshire

Warren Buffett Opposes Climate and Diversity Proposals for Berkshire

Technology, World
The other proposal, by the shareholder advocacy group As You Sow on behalf of Handlery Hotels, calls on Berkshire to detail its diversity and inclusion efforts, arguing that more diverse workforces perform better.Berkshire does not dispute the importance of either issue. In its proxy statement to shareholders, which recommends voting against the proposals, the company says that it agrees about the importance of both climate change and a diverse and inclusive work force.The argument against those proposals is tied to what the company calls its “unusually decentralized” business model. Though its various subsidiaries employ about 360,000 people around the world, Berkshire itself employs only about two dozen at its base in Omaha, Neb., with relatively lean resources to review the efforts of a...