Author Topic: BRK non-insurance group pre-tax earnings growth in 2018; 24% a TYPO?  (Read 1816 times)

el_chieh

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From this year's shareholder letter re non-insurance businesses:

"Viewed as a group, these businesses earned pre-tax income in 2018 of $20.8 billion, a 24% increase over
2017."


I've not been able to corroborate Buffett's 24% growth figure above.  Is this a typo?!?!

I get $21.6BN pre-tax income earned in 2018, up from $19.8BN last year, up 10%.  The passages below match my 10% pre-tax growth above.

When discussing pre-tax income in greater granularity, Buffett's # add up to 10% pre-tax income growth instead of 24%

Anyone?

"Our two towering redwoods in this grove are BNSF and Berkshire Hathaway Energy (90.9% owned). Combined, they earned $9.3 billion before tax last year, up 6% from 2017."

"Our next five non-insurance subsidiaries, as ranked by earnings (but presented here alphabetically), Clayton
Homes, International Metalworking, Lubrizol, Marmon and Precision Castparts, had aggregate pre-tax income in 2018
of $6.4 billion, up from the $5.5 billion these companies earned in 2017.

The next five, similarly ranked and listed (Forest River, Johns Manville, MiTek, Shaw and TTI) earned $2.4
billion pre-tax last year, up from $2.1 billion in 2017.

The remaining non-insurance businesses that Berkshire owns and there are many had pre-tax income of
$3.6 billion in 2018 vs. $3.3 billion in 2017."






Lemsip

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Re: BRK non-insurance group pre-tax earnings growth in 2018; 24% a TYPO?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 05:41:55 AM »
From this year's shareholder letter re non-insurance businesses:

"Viewed as a group, these businesses earned pre-tax income in 2018 of $20.8 billion, a 24% increase over
2017."


I've not been able to corroborate Buffett's 24% growth figure above.  Is this a typo?!?!

I get $21.6BN pre-tax income earned in 2018, up from $19.8BN last year, up 10%.  The passages below match my 10% pre-tax growth above.

When discussing pre-tax income in greater granularity, Buffett's # add up to 10% pre-tax income growth instead of 24%

Anyone?

"Our two towering redwoods in this grove are BNSF and Berkshire Hathaway Energy (90.9% owned). Combined, they earned $9.3 billion before tax last year, up 6% from 2017."

"Our next five non-insurance subsidiaries, as ranked by earnings (but presented here alphabetically), Clayton
Homes, International Metalworking, Lubrizol, Marmon and Precision Castparts, had aggregate pre-tax income in 2018
of $6.4 billion, up from the $5.5 billion these companies earned in 2017.

The next five, similarly ranked and listed (Forest River, Johns Manville, MiTek, Shaw and TTI) earned $2.4
billion pre-tax last year, up from $2.1 billion in 2017.

The remaining non-insurance businesses that Berkshire owns and there are many had pre-tax income of
$3.6 billion in 2018 vs. $3.3 billion in 2017."

Does seem to be a typo. I get similar figures from the 10-K

after tax earnings seem to have gone up about 28% but the pre-tax number is 10% according to my calculations as well.

       20182017
Railroad68636328
Utilities & Energy24722499
MSR1230810927
Total2164319754

gfp

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Re: BRK non-insurance group pre-tax earnings growth in 2018; 24% a TYPO?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 12:10:59 PM »
Hey guys - I was curious as well since I also couldn't reverse engineer the math behind the 24% figure.  I asked Debbie Bosanek if it was truly a typo and she had Dan Jaksich, the Controller / VP / principal accounting officer of Berkshire get back to me.  I would expect Dan to take over as CFO if Marc Hamburg retires.

Anyway, what he said is this:

"The 24% increase in pre-tax earnings referred to on page 8 includes the effects of a number of corporate items, such as interest expense on corporate debt, foreign exchange gains/losses on the Euro denominated debt, and purchase accounting amortization related to these businesses."

el_chieh

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Re: BRK non-insurance group pre-tax earnings growth in 2018; 24% a TYPO?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 08:44:25 PM »
Thanks!!!  Tied (mostly) to Buffett's number.

Dynamic

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Re: BRK non-insurance group pre-tax earnings growth in 2018; 24% a TYPO?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 08:07:52 AM »
Thanks, gfp. That's very enlightening, and it's good to know that the fact-checking was as thorough as we'd expect.