Buffett has good news, however modest

Warren Buffett told the people who attended the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) annual meeting that the company's earnings for the most recent quarter were down some. The company had first-quarter operating earnings of $1.7 billion, down from $1.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Tucked in among his long list of observations about the economy was a positive comment about real estate prices. According toThe Wall Street Journal, "In the last few months you've seen a real pickup in activity, although at much lower prices," Buffett said, citing data from Berkshire's real estate brokerage business, which is one of the largest in the U.S. In California, medium and lower priced homes -- under $750,000 -- have been selling more, although there hasn't been a bounce back in sale prices.