March 1, 2013 / 9:45 PM / 5 years ago

Berkshire Hathaway fourth-quarter profit up on derivatives

REUTERS - Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) reported a larger fourth-quarter profit on Friday, boosted by derivative gains.

The company posted a profit of $4.56 billion, or $2,757 per Class A share, compared with a profit of $3.05 billion or $1,846 per Class A share a year earlier.

    Year-end book value, Buffett’s preferred measure of the stock’s worth, rose 14 percent to $114,214 per share.

    Earnings were boosted by $1.4 billion in derivative gains during the quarter. Otherwise, operating earnings rose only slightly in the period.

    Berkshire shares have been on a tear of late, gaining more than 13 percent this year. Both the Class A and Class B stock touched all-time highs Thursday.

    Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Bernard Orr

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