The analysts surveyed by FactSet expected operating earnings of $3,461.43 per Class A share.
Berkshire reported spending $1.7 billion on repurchasing shares in the first quarter. Edward Jones analyst Jim Shanahan said that’s an encouraging sign because it means Berkshire is willing to pay higher prices for its own stock than it has in the past.
Last summer, Berkshire loosened its internal rules on buybacks, but this is one of the first major purchases since then.
“It looks like the buyback is a more realistic scenario for the company now,” Shanahan said.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns more than 90 companies, including BNSF railroad and clothing, furniture and jewelry businesses. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company’s net income. The company also has major investments in such companies as Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola and Wells Fargo & Co.