Berkshire Hathaway (NASDAQ: BRK-A) and United Fire Group (NASDAQ:UFCS) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, profitabiliy, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Profitability

This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and United Fire Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Berkshire Hathaway N/A N/A N/A
United Fire Group 4.11% 4.42% 1.03%

Dividends

United Fire Group pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Berkshire Hathaway does not pay a dividend. United Fire Group pays out 61.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Berkshire Hathaway and United Fire Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Berkshire Hathaway 0 1 1 0 2.50
United Fire Group 0 2 0 0 2.00

Berkshire Hathaway presently has a consensus price target of $262,000.00, indicating a potential upside of 1.75%. United Fire Group has a consensus price target of $46.00, indicating a potential upside of 3.93%. Given United Fire Group’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe United Fire Group is more favorable than Berkshire Hathaway.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and United Fire Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Berkshire Hathaway $229.14 billion 1.85 $43.97 billion N/A N/A
United Fire Group $1.15 billion 0.97 $60.56 million $1.83 24.19

Berkshire Hathaway has higher revenue and earnings than United Fire Group.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

59.5% of United Fire Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.9% of United Fire Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

United Fire Group beats Berkshire Hathaway on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About United Fire Group

United Fire Group, Inc., formerly United Fire & Casualty Company, is engaged in the business of writing property and casualty insurance and life insurance and selling annuities. The Company operates in two segments: property and casualty insurance, and life insurance. The Company’s property and casualty insurance segment consists of commercial lines insurance, including surety bonds, personal lines insurance and assumed insurance. Its life insurance segment consists of deferred and immediate annuities, universal life insurance products and traditional life insurance products. Its life insurance segment consists solely of the operations of United Life Insurance Company. On February 1, 2012, the Company completed a holding company reorganization of United Fire Group, Inc., United Fire & Casualty Company and UFC MergeCo, Inc. On March 28, 2011, the Company acquired Mercer Insurance Group, Inc. (Mercer Insurance Group).

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