Berkshire Hathaway reports 48.7% first quarter operating gain as shareholders prepare to meet


Bennett Raglin | WireImage | Getty Images

Warren Buffett attends ‘Becoming Warren Buffett’ World premiere at The Museum of Modern Art on January 19, 2017 in New York City.

Berkshire Hathaway reported a 48.7 percent first quarter gain in operating earnings, to $5.3 billion, as its insurance underwriting business swung back into the green and railroads, utility and other businesses posted gains.

Because of accounting rule changes that apply to its $170 billion stock portfolio, however, the conglomerate recorded a first quarter loss of $1.1 billion compared to net income of $4 billion in last year’s first quarter.

Berkshire marked down the value of those investments nearly $6.3 billion.

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