Gerald Miller | CNBC
Berkshire Hathaway’s operating profit fell in the fourth quarter as inflationary pressure weighed on the conglomerate’s business.
Berkshire Hathaway’s operating income totaled $6.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a press release on Saturday. That’s 7.9% less than a year earlier, when earnings were $7.285 billion. Operating income refers to the total profit of the companies owned by the conglomerate.
For the year, the conglomerate’s operating income was $30.793 billion. That’s 12.2% more than $27.455 billion in 2021.
Meanwhile, Berkshire used $2.855 billion to buy back shares in the fourth quarter. That’s lower than the period last year, when share repurchases totaled about $6.9 billion.
As a result, Berkshire’s money supply grew to $128.651 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022. That’s more than nearly $109 billion in the third quarter.
Buffett said in his annual shareholder letter that Berkshire will continue to hold a “boatload” of cash and U.S. Treasury bills along with its myriad businesses. He specified that future CEOs in the company will have a “significant portion” of their net worth in Berkshire stock.
“We will also avoid behavior that could lead to inconvenient money needs at inconvenient times, including financial panic and unprecedented insurance losses,” Buffett wrote.
“And yes, our shareholders will continue to save and prosper by withholding income. At Berkshire, there will be no finishing line.”