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Berkshire (BRK.B) Q3 Earnings Decline, Segment Results Soft

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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B - Free Report) delivered third-quarter 2020 operating earnings of $5.5 billion that decreased 32.1% year over year.

Soft performance in Insurance and Others, Railroad, Utilities and Energy as well as Manufacturing, Service and Retailing resulted in the decline.

Behind the Headlines

Revenues decreased about 3% year over year to $63 billion, attributable to lower revenues from Insurance and Other operations as well as Railroad, Utilities and Energy.

Costs and expenses decreased 1.6% year over year to $57 billion, largely due to increase in costs and expenses in Insurance and Other.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Quote

Segment Results

Berkshire Hathaway’s Insurance and Other segment revenues increased 0.1% year over year to $17.1 billion in the third quarter of 2020 on the back of higher insurance premiums earned. Pretax earnings were $0.9 billion, up 60.7% year over year.

Railroad, Utilities and Energy operating revenues declined 3.1 year over year to $11.4 billion due to decrease in volume, average revenue per car/unit and soft energy business. Pretax earnings of $2.9 billion were down 3.4% year over year. The results reflect the negative effects of COVID-19.

Total revenues at Manufacturing, Service and Retailing decreased 3.9% year over year to $34.5 billion. Pretax earnings declined 1.4% year over year to $3.3 billion. Impacts of COVID-19 weighed on the results.

Financial Position

As of Sep 30, 2020, consolidated shareholders’ equity was $415.2 billion, down 2.3% from the level as of Dec 31, 2019. At quarter end, cash and cash equivalents were $26.8 billion, down 58.2% from the level at 2019 end.

The company exited the third quarter of 2020 with a float of about $135 billion, up $6 billion from the figure at year-end 2019.

Cash flow from operating activities totaled $29.2 billion in the first nine months of 2020, up 9.8% from the year-ago period.

The company bought back shares worth $9 billion, taking the first nine months’ tally to $15.7 billion

Zacks Rank

Berkshire Hathaway currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Insurance Releases

Of the insurance industry players that have reported third-quarter results so far, The Progressive Corporation (PGR - Free Report) , The Travelers Companies (TRV - Free Report) , and RLI Corp. (RLI - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings.

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