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By Tristan 

Berkshire Hathaway's 4Q net income up 43 percent


OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has reported a 43 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit thanks to the strong performance of BNSF railroad and a paper gain of $1.4 billion on the company's derivative contracts and investments.

Buffett said in his annual letter that the acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad was the highlight of 2010 for his Omaha, Neb.,-based company.

Berkshire reported $4.38 billion net income, or $2,656 per Class A share, in the fourth quarter. That's up from the $3.1 billion net income, or $1,969 per Class A share, a year ago.

The three analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Berkshire to report earnings per Class A share of $1,695 in the fourth quarter.

Berkshire's revenue grew nearly 20 percent to $36.2 billion from $30.2 billion last year.


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