Berkshire Hathaway reports 48.7% first quarter operating gain as shareholders prepare to meet

Warren Buffett attends 'Becoming Warren Buffett' World premiere at The Museum of Modern Art on January 19, 2017 in fresh York City.

Bennett Raglin | WireImage | Getty Images

Warren Buffett attends ‘Becoming Warren Buffett’ World premiere at The Museum of Modern Art on January 19, 2017 in fresh York City.

Berkshire Hathaway reported a 48.7 percent first quarter gain in operating earnings, to $5.3 billion, as its insurance underwriting business swung back into the green along with railroads, utility along with additional businesses posted gains.

Because of accounting rule improvements which apply to its $170 billion stock portfolio, however, the conglomerate recorded a first quarter loss of $1.1 billion compared to net income of $4 billion in last year’s first quarter.

Berkshire marked down the value of those investments nearly $6.3 billion.

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