Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate led by the billionaire Warren Buffett, posted its highest ever quarterly operating profit on Saturday, while gains from stock holdings helped Berkshire swing to an overall profit of nearly $36 billion.
Rising interest rates and dividend payouts, as well as a rebound in performance at the Geico car insurer, have been helping Berkshire’s insurance businesses generate more money, with profit up 38 percent from the second quarter of 2022. Berkshire cited rising premiums and a reduction in advertising as among the reasons for Geico’s positive results.
That helped offset declines at other businesses including the BNSF railroad, where lower shipments of consumer goods and increased price competition from the trucking industry contributed to a 24 percent drop in overall profit.
Investors closely watch Berkshire because of Mr. Buffett’s reputation as a savvy investor and because results from the conglomerate’s dozens of operating units often mirror broader economic trends.
Those units also include Berkshire Energy, several industrial companies, and brands like Dairy Queen, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom and See’s Candies.
Berkshire, based in Omaha, reported that its operating profit in the quarter rose 7 percent to $10.04 billion from $9.42 billion a year earlier.
Net income totaled $35.91 billion compared with a $43.62 billion loss in the second quarter of 2022.
Berkshire said that it had repurchased $1.4 billion in stock in the quarter.
It also remained a big net seller of stocks from its $353 billion in equity holdings — about half of which is Apple — shedding about $8 billion more stocks than it bought.
That helped push Berkshire’s cash stake up to $147.4 billion as of June 30 from $130.6 billion three months earlier.
The quarter was the first to fully include results from the truck stop operator Pilot, in which Berkshire now owns an 80 percent stake. Pilot contributed $114 million to operating profit.
Mr. Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire, turns 93 on Aug. 30. He is worth $117.5 billion and is the world’s sixth-richest person, according to Forbes magazine.
Berkshire’s class A shares closed on Friday at $533,600, about 2 percent below their record high. The shares are up 14 percent this year, while the S&P 500 index is up 17 percent.