(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett has described his collection of businesses as a “Niagara of cash generation.” Right now, he can’t keep up with the deluge.

  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reached a new record with $122 billion in cash, beating out its previous high set at the end of 2017. Despite having a good problem on his hands, Buffett has been struggling to find enough well-priced opportunities to keep up the growth that allowed him to beat broader markets for decades.

Key Insights

  • Buffett’s railroad eked out profit gains in the quarter, bolstered by shipments of industrial products. That could help bat down concerns about its ability to weather a slowdown in the sector.
  • Buffett slowed down his stock buybacks in the second quarter, repurchasing about $400 million, down from $1.7 billion in the first three months of the year. Berkshire’s board changed its buyback policy last year in a move that created another lever for Buffett to use in deploying Berkshire’s cash pile.
  • Kraft Heinz Co., which has created challenges for Berkshire over the past year, was once again missing from the results. Kraft Heinz, which is set to report results on August 8, installed a new chief executive officer and finally issued its delayed 10-K filing in June as it worked to clean up from a $15.4 billion writedown.

Get More

  • Berkshire’s operating earnings fell 11% to $6.14 billion during the second quarter.
  • For more on the results, click here.
  • Berkshire’s press release is here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Chiglinsky in New York at kchiglinsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Daniel Taub

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