Berkshire Hathaway’s profit drops by two-thirds

Damage from Hurricane Ida hurt quarterly results at Berkshire Hathaway, creating big underwriting losses at its insurance businesses such as Geico.

Net income at billionaire Warren Buffett’s company fell by two thirds, reflecting lower investment gains from its holding of stocks in companies such as Apple and Bank of America.

Berkshire said Saturday its operating profit rose 18% but missed analysts’ forecasts, hurt by Ida as well as flooding in Europe, crimped consumer spending, and global supply chain disruptions caused by the Delta variant.

Berkshire’s varied businesses run the gamut from insurance to a railroad, consumer goods like Duracell batteries and an auto dealership. It’s run by CEO Warren Buffett, who’s known as the “Oracle of Omaha” for his investing savvy.

Many investors want Berkshire to buy more companies but rising stock markets are making acquisitions more expensive. Berkshire is actively dipping into its huge cash pile to buy back its own shares.