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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) Up 6.5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B - Free Report) . Shares have added about 6.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Berkshire Hathaway Inc. due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Berkshire Q2 Earnings Down on Soft Segment Results

Berkshire Hathaway delivered second-quarter 2020 operating earnings of $5.5 billion that decreased 10.6% year over year.

Soft performance in Railroad, Utilities and Energy as well as Manufacturing, Service and Retailing resulted in the decline. However, better results at Insurance and Other acted as a partial offset.

Behind the Headlines

Revenues decreased 10.6% year over year to $56.8 billion, attributable to lower revenues from Insurance and Other operations as well as Railroad, Utilities and Energy.

Costs and expenses increased 9.4% year over year to $61.3 billion, largely due to increase in costs and expenses in Insurance and Other.

Segment Results

Berkshire Hathaway’s Insurance and Other segment revenues increased 4.2% year over year to $17.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020 on the back of higher insurance premiums earned. Pretax earnings were $2.7 billion, up 26.7% year over year.

Railroad, Utilities and Energy operating revenues declined 14.7 year over year to $9.3 billion due to decrease in volume, average revenue per car/unit and soft energy business. Pretax earnings of $2.1 billion were down 14% year over year. Second-quarter earnings reflected lower shipping volumes, including the negative effects of COVID-19, partly offset by productivity improvements, which lowered operating costs, and soft Utilities as well as Energy business.

Total revenues at Manufacturing, Service and Retailing decreased 16% year over year to $30.3 billion. Pretax earnings declined 44.4% year over year to $1.9 billion. Impacts of COVID-19 weighed on the results.

Financial Position

As of Jun 30, 2020, consolidated shareholders’ equity was $393.5 billion, down 7.4% from the level as of Dec 31, 2019. At quarter end, cash and cash equivalents were $36.1 billion, down 43.8% from the level at 2019 end.

The company exited the first quarter of 2020 with a float of about $131 billion, up $2 billion from the figure at year-end 2019.

Cash flow from operating activities totaled $17.5 billion in the first half of 2020, up 4.2% from the year-ago period.

The company bought back shares worth $5.1 billion, taking the first half tally to $6.7 billion

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in estimates review. The consensus estimate has shifted -9.51% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has an average Growth Score of C, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a D. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of this revision indicates a downward shift. Notably, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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