Net income for the fourth-quarter was $3,035 per Class A share, or nearly $5 billion, up 9.6% from a year ago. For the full year, Berkshire posted net earnings of about $19.5 billion, compared with $14.8 billion for 2012.
Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire is a diversified holding company with a market capitalization of about $282 billion. In addition to a large insurance business that includes the auto insurer Geico as well as reinsurance operations, Berkshire owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe, one of the largest U.S. railroads. It also owns energy and utility companies, retailers and other industrial-sector companies.
Together, these businesses brought in about $182 billion of annual revenue, exceeding analysts' expectations of $180 billion.
In his annual letter to shareholders, also released Saturday, Mr. Buffett said Berkshire's gain in net worth was $34.2 billion after deducting certain charges. Its book value, or assets minus liabilities, per Class A and B share rose 18.2%, Mr. Buffett wrote.
"On the operating front, just about everything turned out well for us last year," the billionaire investor wrote in his letter.