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Berkshire profit falls as investment gains tumble

OMAHA, Neb. May 5 Berkshire Hathaway Inc , the conglomerate run by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, on Friday said first-quarter profit fell 27 percent, reflecting a big decline in investment gains.

Net income fell to $4.06 billion, or $2,469 per Class A share, from $5.59 billion, or $3,401, a year earlier.

Operating profit, which excludes investment and derivative gains and losses, fell 5 percent to $3.56 billion, or $2,163 per Class A share, from $3.74 billion, or $2,274.

Buffett believes Berkshire's investment and derivative gains in any given quarter are often meaningless, but accounting rules require Berkshire to report them in its earnings statements.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in Omaha, Nebraska; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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