Berkshire Q2 Profit Up 87%, But Operating Profit Down 10%

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B) reported a profit for the second-quarter that increased 87 percent from last year, as the value of its investment portfolio increased with the stock market. But it took about $10 billion write down on the value of its Precision Castparts aircraft parts unit due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarterly operating profit declined 10 percent.

Berkshire noted that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to evolve and the effects on businesses may differ from what it currently estimates. It also warned that additional goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible asset impairment charges could be required, if the COVID-19 effects prove to be worse than is reflected in it current estimates.

The company said its operating business groups are preparing for reduced cash flows from reduced revenues and economic activity as a result of Coronavirus.

Berkshire said it spent about $5.1 billion to repurchase its shares in the second quarter.

Berkshire Hathaway’s second-quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders rose 87 percent to $26.30 billion from last year’s $14.07 billion, with earnings per share improving to $16,314 per Class A share, from $8,608 per Class A share in the previous year.

The latest-quarter result included $9.8 billion attributable to impairments of goodwill and certain identifiable intangible assets recorded in connection with Berkshire’s acquisition of Precision Castparts in 2016.

Berkshire said COVID-19 caused airlines to slash aircraft orders, resulting in significantly less demand for Precision’s products.

Therefore, Precision Castparts aircraft parts unit reduced its workforce by about 10,000 employees in the first-half of 2020, representing about 30 percent of its total workforce at year end 2019.

But, quarterly operating profit declined 10 percent to $5.51 billion from $6.14 billion in the prior year.

Total revenues for the quarter were $56.84 billion, down 10.6 percent from $63.60 billion a year earlier.

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