Buffett's Berkshire billions billowing

By Nancy Cook | ncook@ktalnews.tv

Published 08/03 2014 12:27PM

Updated 08/03 2014 12:36PM

Warren Buffett -  who started his entrepreneurial career turning profits as an 11-year-old paper boy and grocery bagger in 1941, and used those profits to purchase his first three shares of stock - is continuing to churn it out.  

CNN reported Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA), said Friday its profit grew by nearly $2 billion in the second quarter.

The company, a broad-based investment conglomerate that includes diverse names like Geico Auto Insurance, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Dairy Queen, Benjamin Moore, Fruit of the Loom, Heinz, and See's Candies, earned a profit of nearly $6.4 billion, up from $4.5 billion during the same period last year.

In the first quarter, Berkshire's railroad operations took a hit from the extreme winter weather that hit. But, as the nation's housing market has shown signs of improvement, many of the related companies that fall under Berkshire Hathaway's umbrella saw good results.

"Clayton Homes, Shaw industries, Acme Brick Company, Benjamin Moore, Johns Manville all performed well. That's the real story as the recovery works its way through the economy," said Thomas Russo, Partner at investment firm Gardner Russo & Gardner. The firm has nearly $1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares.

Class A Berkshire (BRKA) shares traded at $188,279 Friday. Shares are up 6.40% this year. Class B Berkshire (BRKB) shares traded at $125.83, up 6.13% year to date.

Buffett’s father was a stockbroker; as a child, Buffett would visit and chalk in current stock prices.  The stock the 11-year-old bought were three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share.  

The stock, however, quickly dropped to $27.

Buffett held on until they climbed back up to $40. Then he sold them at a small profit. He later regretted the decision when Cities Service shot up to nearly $200 a share, and still cites this experience as an early lesson in patience in investing.

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