Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Billionaire Warren Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway bought back $928 million of its stock as its third-quarter earnings jumped from $4.1 billion to $18.54 billion in one year, the company announced Saturday.
In addition, the company's operating profit increased to $6.88 billion from $3.44 billion in the third quarter, according to a regulatory filing.
Bethshire Hathaway, based in Omaha, Neb., owns a variety of companies, including insurer Geico, railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe and consumer brands like Duracell, Dairy Queen and paint maker Benjamin Moore as well as newspapers, including the hometown Omaha Herald. It also has invested $57.6 billion in Apple and $28 billion in Kraft Heinz.
Because the company is heavily invested in insurance companies, the profits last year were weak partly the result of an earthquake in Mexico and major hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
With Berthshire Hathaway flush in cash, it repurchased nearly $1 billion in stock: 225 Class A shares and 4.1 million Class B shares.
The company reported there were 733,152 Class A shares and 1.36 billion Class B shares, as of Oct. 25, t It's market capitilizartuon is around $500 billion.
As of March 7, Buffett's Berkshire ownership stake was 17.2 percent and his voting power was 32.0 percent.
The last buyback was in 2012 when it spent $1.2 billion to repurchase stock, most of which belonged to a longtime shareholder.
The 88-year-old Buffett rarely buys back stock but in July the company eliminated a restriction that capped its ability to buy back its own stock. The company has $108 billion of cash and equivalent funding sources.
Buffett and Berkshire Vice Chairman Charlie Munger can buy back stock any time they believe that the repurchase price is "below Berkshire's intrinsic value, conservatively determined."
CNN reported that Buffett has not seen many attractive new options because sky-high valuations. Earlier this year, he said his investment philosophy is to stick with "big, 'easy' decisions and eschew activity."