On Mar 6, 2014, shares of
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
) (BRK.B) touched an all time high of $121.44. Shares gained
nearly 17% in the 1-year period.
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The momentum in this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock was driven
by strong fourth-quarter and full year 2013 results.
Berkshire - a conglomerate housing more than 80 businesses - made
a strong exit to the year 2013 by reporting fourth operating
earnings of $1.53 per share which comfortably beat the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $1.40. Moreover, the company delivered
positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an
average beat of 20.4%. The long-term expected earnings growth
rate for this stock is 7%.
While Berkshire's insurance company acts as the primary impetus
driving its growth, the year saw a significant contribution from
its railroad, utilities and energy business. The acquisition of
railroad company, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. in 2010 has
brought in a major contributor to earnings.
Berkshire's finance and financial product segment also performed
well with mid-double-digit growth in pre-tax earning in the
segment, primarily led by Clayton Homes. Lower loan loss
provision and increased net interest income also helped the
Heading into 2014, the company's economic sensitive businesses
will see strong growth with the gradual build up of economy. Its
energy business is expected to gain from the synergy from the
recent acquisition of NV Energy.
Moreover, Warren Buffett's unique skills have created tremendous
value for shareholders. A strong capital position also allows the
company to make acquisitions, for which it is well known.
Other stocks with the same Zacks Rank as Berkshire -
American Financial Group Inc.
Am Trust Financial Servcies, Inc.
) are worth considering.