Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway posts record $189B in cash reserves


Berkshire Hathaway reported record cash reserves of $189 billion during the first quarter of 2024. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

May 4 (UPI) — Investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway on Saturday reported first-quarter earnings of $11.2 billion and revealed it is now holding a record-high total $189 billion in cash reserves.

The cash reserves are up from $167.6 billion during the fourth quarter last year and are reflective of an inability to find suitable business targets for major corporate acquisitions this year, the company reported in its earnings statement released during the annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb.

The $11.2 billion in first-quarter earnings exceeds last year’s first-quarter haul of $8.9 billion by 39% thanks largely to a large increase in earnings from Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance underwriting businesses.

The first-quarter earnings were buoyed by a 185% increase in earnings from insurance underwriting, which rose to nearly $2.6 billion from $911 million during the first quarter of 2023.

Subsidiary GEICO posted $1.93 billion in underwriting earnings, which is a 174% increase from $703 million during the same period last year.

Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance investment income also rose significantly to $2.5 billion, which is a 32% rise from a year earlier.

During a question-and-answer session with shareholders, the 92-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” advised investors to take the insurance results with “grain of salt” citing an expected downturn in the third quarter, CNBC reported.

Buffett also commented on developments in artificial intelligence and renewable energy and said the conglomerate’s future investing decisions will be handled by vice chairman of non-insurance operations Greg Abel, his presumptive successor.

“I not only hope you come next year. I hope I come next year,” he said in closing.

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