Critical Comparison: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) versus AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI)

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) and AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Berkshire Hathaway and AmTrust Financial Services, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Berkshire Hathaway 0 0 3 0 3.00
AmTrust Financial Services 0 6 0 0 2.00

Berkshire Hathaway currently has a consensus target price of $333,833.33, suggesting a potential upside of 12.61%. AmTrust Financial Services has a consensus target price of $14.17, suggesting a potential upside of 5.49%. Given Berkshire Hathaway’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Berkshire Hathaway is more favorable than AmTrust Financial Services.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and AmTrust Financial Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Berkshire Hathaway $242.14 billion 2.01 $44.94 billion $8,790.96 33.72
AmTrust Financial Services $5.96 billion 0.44 -$348.88 million N/A N/A

Berkshire Hathaway has higher revenue and earnings than AmTrust Financial Services.


This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and AmTrust Financial Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Berkshire Hathaway 16.88% 4.91% 2.35%
AmTrust Financial Services 4.27% 17.89% 1.97%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

12.2% of Berkshire Hathaway shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 29.1% of AmTrust Financial Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.8% of Berkshire Hathaway shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 50.8% of AmTrust Financial Services shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Berkshire Hathaway has a beta of 0.89, indicating that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, AmTrust Financial Services has a beta of 1.29, indicating that its stock price is 29% more volatile than the S&P 500.


AmTrust Financial Services pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.1%. Berkshire Hathaway does not pay a dividend.


Berkshire Hathaway beats AmTrust Financial Services on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Berkshire Hathaway Company Profile

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in various business activities. Its segments include Insurance, such as GEICO, Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group, General Re Corporation and Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group; Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, which is engaged in the operation of the railroad system; Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which includes regulated electric and gas utility; Manufacturing, which includes manufacturers of various products, including industrial, consumer and building products; McLane Company, which is engaged in the wholesale distribution of groceries and non-food items; Service and retailing, which includes providers of various services, including fractional aircraft ownership programs, aviation pilot training and various retailing businesses, and Finance and financial products, which includes manufactured housing and related consumer financing, transportation equipment, manufacturing and leasing, and furniture leasing.

AmTrust Financial Services Company Profile

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. provides property and casualty insurance in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Small Commercial Business, Specialty Risk and Extended Warranty, and Specialty Program. The Small Commercial Business segment offers workers' compensation insurance products; and commercial package, and other property and casualty insurance products, such as commercial property, general liability, inland marine, employment practices liability, commercial automobile, and umbrella coverage to small businesses. The Specialty Risk and Extended Warranty segment provides custom designed coverages, such as accidental damage plans, mechanical breakdown protection, and payment protection plans in connection with the sale of consumer and commercial goods; and coverage for niche property, casualty, and specialty liability risks comprising general liability, employers' liability, and professional and medical liability. The Specialty Program segment offers workers' compensation, general liability, commercial auto liability, property coverage, excess and surplus lines programs, and other specialty commercial property and casualty insurance products to small and middle market companies. The company also provides reinsurance services primarily for personal and commercial automotive business. It distributes its policies third-party brokers, agents, retailers, or administrators. AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is based in New York, New York.

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