Berkshire Inches Toward $1T Valuation

Warren Buffett

What You Need to Know

The conglomerate just posted higher operating earnings thanks to a jump in insurance underwriting profits and investment income.
Surpassing the $1 trillion level would make it the first U.S. company outside of the technology sector to reach such a market capitalization.
Its sheer size leaves meaningful deal-making more challenging today, as there “remain only a handful

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shares rose as much as 5.5% in premarket trading on Monday, set to push the market value of Warren Buffett’s conglomerate even closer to $1 trillion.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based firm posted higher operating earnings, boosting a stock that’s been been crawling toward the trillion-dollar club since it notched a fresh record high last year.

Surpassing that level would make Berkshire the first U.S. company outside of the technology sector to reach such a market capitalization.

The company’s shares, which gained about 15% last year, were already up about 17% so far in 2024 through Friday.

Its market value stood at more than $900 billion at the end of last week, before its Saturday earnings report.

“Extreme fiscal conservatism is a corporate pledge we make to those who have joined us in ownership of Berkshire,” Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders. “Berkshire is built to last.”

Shares pared the premarket advance to 2.1% as of 8:17 a.m. New York time and traded up 0.75% as of 10:00 a.m.

The conglomerate reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of $8.48 billion on Saturday, versus $6.63 billion for the same period a year earlier, helped by an increase in insurance underwriting earnings and investment income amid higher interest rates and milder weather.

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“Berkshire Hathaway’s earnings power should remain intact given its diverse units that can offset pockets of weakness — regardless of economic conditions,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Palazola wrote in a note.

Omaha-based Berkshire’s businesses range from insurance to railroads and ice cream, a stark contrast to the tech giants that currently levy such valuations.