Investor Warren Buffett says good deals tough to find

Warren Buffett’s optimism may get tested this year

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway saw its net worth surge by $65 billion in 2017, nearly half of which came from tax proceeds from the recently passed GOP law.

Fourth-quarter net income increased roughly fivefold to $32.55 billion, or $19,790 per Class A share, from $6.29 billion, or $3,823 per share, a year earlier.

Berkshire Hathaway's fourth-quarter profit more than quadrupled as it received a $29 billion boost from the new tax law that easily offset any weakness in the company's businesses.

The investment company run by Warren Buffett made $44.9 billion of earnings attributable to shareholders during the year, but warned that changes to the way changes in valuation were booked for its $170 billion of tradable stocks would make comparisons "useless" in future.

Kerala: 11 arrested for killing 'mentally unfit' tribal, 9 charged with murder
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Quarterly operating profit for the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate fell 24 percent to $3.34 billion from $4.38 billion.

This also benefited from the tax law change.

Operating profit fell 18 per cent to $14.5bn due to a $2.2bn loss from the group's insurance underwriting unit as a string of natural disasters hit the US.

Berkshire's Class A shares closed at $304,020.01 on Friday, and its Class B shares closed at $202.76.

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