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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Buffett: GEICO shooting the lights out

GEICO, an insurance company that has a regional headquarters in Stafford County and is one of the area’s largest employers, is pleasing its famous owner.

Warren Buffett, CEO of the Berkshire Hathaway firm that owns GEICO, praised the insurer in his annual shareholders letter released Friday and repeated the compliments during a three-hour interview on CNBC Monday morning.

Buffett wrote in his letter that GEICO “gobbled up market share” in 2012 and now has nearly 10 percent of the personal-auto insurance market. He wrote that “much more growth lies ahead.”

Buffett also wrote that GEICO earned an underwriting profit in 2012 despite sustaining its largest single loss in history due to Hurricane Sandy. GEICO insured 46,906 vehicles that were destroyed or damaged in the October storm, mostly in the New York City metropolitan area.

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