Berkshire Hathaway has reported third-quarter net earnings dropped 48.5 percent to $586 million, or $381 per share, with nearly $3 billion in hurricane losses for its insurance operations causing the decline.

In last year's third quarter, net earnings totaled $1.1 billion, or $739 per share, the company reported Friday.

In total, estimates of losses from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita recorded in the third quarter were $2.99 billion, with $2.3 billion recorded for the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group operations, $602 million for General Re, and $118 million for GEICO.

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