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At Warren Buffett's Berkshire, a Core Business Drags Down Profit

Profit at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) slid 15% in the three months through June as the second straight quarter of insurance-underwriting losses overpowered gains at two of billionaire CEO Warren Buffett's biggest acquisitions: Burlington Northern railroad and aerospace supplier Precision Castparts.

Earnings of $2,592 a share at the Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate trailed the $2,791 average estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income was $4.26 billion.

The underwriting portion of Berkshire's insurance business posted a loss of $22...