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Buffett's Berkshire posts higher income

Holding company sees 12% gain over 2006 quarter, boosted by insurance underwriting.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Berkshire Hathaway, the diversified holding company run by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, reported higher first-quarter earnings Friday.

Berkshire (Charts, Fortune 500) reported net earnings of $2.6 billion, or $1,682 a share, according to a press release on the company's Web site. That's 12.2 percent higher than the same quarter a year earlier.

The company, which is involved in everything from insurance and energy to manufacturing and retailing, nearly doubled its earnings from insurance underwriting.

A single class A share of Berkshire Hathaway closed at over $108,000 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday.

The report came a day before the company's famous annual meeting kicks off in Omaha, Neb.

Festivities at what Buffett himself calls the "Woodstock for Capitalists" begin Friday evening with cocktails at Borsheim's, a Berkshire-owned jeweler west of downtown. They end Sunday with a steak dinner at Buffett's favorite restaurant, Gorat's.  Top of page