Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
) reported fourth quarter 2012 operating earnings of $1.14 per
share, a penny ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results
also compared favorably with $1.08 per share reported in the
Net income (a GAAP measure), which includes a number of
one-time items, came in at $1.84 per share, up from $1.23 per
share earned in the year-ago quarter.
Total revenue for the quarter was $44.7 billion up from $38.0
billion in the year-ago quarter.
Full-year 2012 operating earnings were $5.10 per share,
compared with $4.40 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Total revenue were $162.4 billion up 13% year over year, led
by higher revenues across all its business segments.
segment reported revenue of $123.3 billion, up 11.4% year over
year. Underwriting profit was $1.6 billion compared with $0.24
million in the year-ago quarter.
Railroad, Utilities and Energy
segment's total revenue increased 5.8% year over year to $32.6
billion. Of the total segment's revenue, approximately 63% came
from Burlington Northern Santa Fe - the railroad company, which
was acquired in February 2010. An increase in industrial and
agricultural activity has automatically revived the demand for
rail services and this translates into greater consumer demand
for the segment. The trend is likely to continue in the coming
years as well.
Finance & Financial Products
segment's total revenue increased more than three- fold to $6.5
billion from $2.1 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Consolidated shareholders' equity at Dec 31, 2012 was $187.6
billion, an increase of $22.8 billion from Dec 31, 2011.
Consolidated cash and investments was $176.3 billion at Dec 31,
In 2012, the company made a number of smaller-sized business
acquisitions spending a total of $3.2 billion.
Berkshire is a conglomerate, which houses over 80 different
businesses, along with equity investments in many companies. The
company has seen its earnings fluctuate from one quarter to
another due to heavy exposure to stock option derivatives.
However, most of these gains/losses have been unrealized.
Results for the full year 2012 reflected that most of
Berkshire's businesses - Insurance, Railroad, Utilities and
Energy, Manufacturing, Service and Retailing - performed well.
Its Finance and Financial products segment, which had suffered as
a result of a soft housing market, is also recovering gradually.
Going forward, we expect the company to perform favorably.
Berkshire Hathaway retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
players from the same industry such as
The Chubb Corp.
The Travelers Companies Inc.
The Allstate Corp.
), all reported earnings ahead of the Zacks Consensus
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