Virus-hit Berkshire Hathaway buys back more than $5 billion in shares

Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of Warren Buffett, bought back approximately $5.1 billion of its own shares in the 2nd quarter as it was hit hard by economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Berkshire's net profit climbed to $26.3 billion, up sharply from $14.1 billion in the same period last year. 

But the group's earnings before interest and taxes, a measure generally considered more representative of its health, fell by more than 10% to $5.5 billion. 

Business in the rail and energy sectors has been adversely affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. 

The holding company, with interests in the insurance, luxury goods, media, and apparel sectors, also took a hit of around $10 billion due to the depreciation of Precision Castparts, the largest manufacturing company it owns. 

The group, which has major investments in giants such as American Express, Apple, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola, said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to continue to affect its operations but cannot predict the exact consequences. 

Among the risks that Berkshire may face in the future, the company mentioned the nature and duration of restrictions or closures of facilities around the world and the long-term effect on the demand for products and services. –