Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) and Argo Group International Holdings (NASDAQ:AGII) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and dividends.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and Argo Group International Holdings’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Berkshire Hathaway N/A N/A N/A $13,263.00 N/A
Argo Group International Holdings $1.69 billion 1.05 $244.20 million $5.54 10.68

Argo Group International Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Argo Group International Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Berkshire Hathaway has a beta of 0.87, suggesting that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Argo Group International Holdings has a beta of 0.82, suggesting that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

31.3% of Berkshire Hathaway shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.4% of Argo Group International Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.4% of Berkshire Hathaway shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.9% of Argo Group International Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and Argo Group International Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Berkshire Hathaway 9.08% 5.83% 2.66%
Argo Group International Holdings 10.04% 6.39% 1.52%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for Berkshire Hathaway and Argo Group International Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Berkshire Hathaway 0 2 1 0 2.33
Argo Group International Holdings 1 1 0 0 1.50

Berkshire Hathaway currently has a consensus target price of $137,583.00, indicating a potential upside of Infinity. Argo Group International Holdings has a consensus target price of $70.00, indicating a potential upside of 18.34%. Given Berkshire Hathaway’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Berkshire Hathaway is more favorable than Argo Group International Holdings.

Dividends

Argo Group International Holdings pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Berkshire Hathaway does not pay a dividend. Argo Group International Holdings pays out 19.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

Berkshire Hathaway beats Argo Group International Holdings on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Berkshire Hathaway

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.

About Argo Group International Holdings

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. is an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. The Company operates through four segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200. Excess and Surplus Lines segment carriers focus on risks that the standard (admitted) market is unwilling or unable to underwrite. The Excess and Surplus Lines segment consists of two operating platforms: Colony Specialty and Argo Pro. Commercial Specialty segment provides property, casualty and surety coverages designed to meet the insurance needs of businesses within certain markets. International Specialty segment underwrites insurance and reinsurance risks. It operate as Argo Re, the Casualty and Professional Lines unit of Argo Insurance in Bermuda, and Argo Seguros Brazil, S.A. in Brazil. The Syndicate 1200 segment underwrites around the world property, specialty and non-United States liability insurance.

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