Berkshire Hathaway Inc Valuation – April 2019 #BRK.B

Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire), incorporated on June 16, 1998, is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in various business activities. The Company’s segments include Insurance, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNSF), Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Manufacturing, McLane Company, Service and retailing, and Finance and financial products. The Company conducts insurance businesses on both a primary basis and a reinsurance basis, a freight rail transportation business and a group of utility and energy generation and distribution businesses. Berkshire also owns and operates a range of other businesses engaged in a range of activities. Its insurance and reinsurance business activities are conducted through various domestic and foreign-based insurance entities. Its insurance businesses provide insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty risks and also reinsure life, accident and health risks across the world.


Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of BRK.B – April 2019

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?


Defensive Investor; must pass all 6 of the following tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $501,551,804,600 Pass
2. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
3. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Fail
4. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 93.65% Pass
5. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 21.36 Fail
6. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 1.40 Pass
Enterprising Investor; must pass all 3 of the following tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
2. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Fail
3. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass


Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $9.36
MG Growth Estimate 2.43%
MG Value $125.05
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade F
MG Value based on 3% Growth $135.79
MG Value based on 0% Growth $79.60
Market Implied Growth Rate 6.43%
Current Price $200.07
% of Intrinsic Value 159.99%

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the poor dividend history, and the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the lack of dividends. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $8.06 in 2015 to an estimated $9.36 for 2019. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 6.43% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $178.09. The company does not pay a dividend. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 21.36, which was above the industry average of 19.43.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of F.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Graham Number $178.09
PEmg 21.36
PB Ratio 1.40
Dividend Yield 0.00%
TTM Dividend $0.00
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 0

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2018
Long-Term Debt & Capital Lease Obligation $93,117,000,000
Total Assets $707,794,000,000
Intangible Assets $113,173,000,000
Total Liabilities $355,294,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 2,462,433,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $10.00
Dec2018 $1.63
Dec2017 $18.22
Dec2016 $9.76
Dec2015 $9.77
Dec2014 $8.06
Dec2013 $7.90
Dec2012 $5.99
Dec2011 $4.14
Dec2010 $5.29
Dec2009 $3.46
Dec2008 $2.15
Dec2007 $5.70
Dec2006 $4.76
Dec2005 $3.69
Dec2004 $3.17
Dec2003 $3.54
Dec2002 $1.86
Dec2001 $0.35
Dec2000 $1.46
Dec1999 $0.68

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $9.36
Dec2018 $9.19
Dec2017 $12.23
Dec2016 $8.92
Dec2015 $8.06
Dec2014 $6.90
Dec2013 $5.99
Dec2012 $4.76
Dec2011 $4.15
Dec2010 $4.19
Dec2009 $3.75
Dec2008 $3.89
Dec2007 $4.57
Dec2006 $3.80
Dec2005 $3.06
Dec2004 $2.52
Dec2003 $1.99

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Berkshire Hathaway Inc Valuation – May 2018 $BRK-B
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Valuation – January 2017 $BRK.B
Berkshire Hathaway Analysis – August 2015 Update $BRK/B
20 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 8/16/14

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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