Berkshire Hathaway's earnings jump 51 percent

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By JOSH FUNK, Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Berkshire Hathaway's first-quarter profit jumped 51 percent as its insurance companies performed well and the value of its investments soared.

Warren Buffett's firm said Friday it earned $4.89 billion, or $2,977 per Class A share. That's up from last year's $3.25 billion net income, or $1,966 per Class A share.

The Omaha-based conglomerate says its revenue grew 15 percent to $43.87 billion from $38.15 billion last year.

Berkshire's insurance companies generated $901 million in underwriting profit because there were no major losses in the quarter. That's far better than last year's $54 million.

The value of Berkshire's investments and derivatives soared to $1.1 billion from $580 million.

The earnings report was released as thousands of Berkshire shareholders were gathering in Omaha for Saturday's annual meeting.

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