Berkshire Hathaway's net profit triples while stock portfolio bests S&P 500

Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest men and CEO of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), once proclaimed that "the banking business is no favorite of ours." The comment came in one of his famous missives to Berkshire's shareholders by way of explaining that financial companies were too risky and opaque for the über-investor's tastes.

But that was in 1990. Today, well-timed investments in banks like Goldman Sachs (GS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are looking like smart moves for Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, according to figures contained in the company's quarterly earnings statement released Friday. So are bets on a number of other blue-chip stocks like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Coca-Cola (KO). The company's third-quarter net income nearly tripled to $3.24 billion, or $2,087 per Class A equivalent share, compared with $1.06 billion, or $682 per Class A equivalent share, in the year-ago quarter.