Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.B) is in focus on Monday after Warren Buffett’s conglomerate holding company reported an 8.0% hit to operating earnings in its fourth quarter.
Notable figures in Berkshire’s quarterly results
The said decline was primarily related to the U.S. dollar that lost strength in the recent quarter and the company’s railroad business.
Berkshire spent $2.6 billion on stock repurchases in Q4 – more than double the $1.0 billion it spent in the prior quarter. In a letter to shareholders, the legendary investor wrote:
When you’re told that all repurchases are harmful to shareholders or to the country, or particularly beneficial to CEOs, you’re listening to either an economic illiterate or a silver-tongued demagogue.
Class B shares of his company are currently down over 1.0% year-to-date.
Jim Cramer’s take on Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire’s per-share operating earnings printed at $4,585 per Class A share for the quarter versus a higher $5,305 that analysts had forecast. In total, the company earned $18.1 billion – down 53%.
Buffett’s conglomerate now has a per-share book value of about $323,600 per Class A share. That’s a significant increase versus $310,000 on September 30th. Just last week, Jim Cramer said on Mad Money:
I know that the man runs an unbelievable company. He’s got fantastic people underneath. I say, stay long Berkshire Hathaway.
Also on Monday, UBS also raised its price objective on “BRK.B” to $371 that represents about a 33% upside from here. Berkshire Hathaway Inc ended the quarter with a whopping $128 billion in cash; a significant increase from $109 billion at the end of last September.
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