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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 November, 2004, 10:13 GMT
Profit dip at Buffett's Berkshire
Warren Buffett
Mr Buffett is not afraid of being a lone voice in the marketplace
Berkshire Hathaway, the company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, has reported a drop in quarterly profits after hurricanes cost it $816m (439m).

The Caribbean and southern US have been hit by four storms this year, causing widespread damage and leaving insurers with billions of dollars of claims.

Berkshire also had to write off the cost of a failed mining project.

Net income was $1.14bn in the three months through September, down from $1.8bn a year earlier.

Casting around

Mr Buffett, the world's second-richest man, has built Berkshire into a firm with interests ranging from clothing to insurance to carpets to plane rentals.

The company still is on the look-out for acquisition opportunities and increased its cash holdings to $38bn in the third quarter, up from $31bn a year earlier.

Mr Buffett also has been betting that the US dollar would weaken and the company said it now has foreign currency contracts worth $20bn.

The dollar dropped to a record low on Friday against the euro and many analysts are predicting that more declines are on the cards.

Shares in Berkshire slid $510 on Friday to $83,390. A Berkshire share would have cost an investor $175 in 1978.

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