No. of Recommendations: 14
Random notes and speculations...

Probably still because last year's results looked bad, at a guess.
Historically (and not nonsensically), the market multiple tends to be poor when recent results have been weak and vice versa.

Berkshire's stock portfolio went down a lot in Q4, which hit both headline EPS (for the dumbest money) and book value (for the slightly smarter money).

The end Q1 book value is likely to be somewhere similar to the same level as at end Q3 last year, undoing the Q4 damage. My guess is up maybe 6.9%.
Still not that great, really, as that means six months of no visible progress.
They will likely be their best six months ever in operating earnings, but multiples may remain lowish for a while yet.

Why are brokers not fond of it?
It's a really boring stock that it's not really worth trading in a conventional sense. Its charms are mainly long run steady value growth.
You can't make money as an investment advisor with it, as its best use is simply to throw it into a portfolio and forget about it.
No commissions, and even if you don't care about those your clients will say "I know what to do now, just give me my money back". (I had this happen).
For those reasons, Wall Street types don't usually say very much meaningful about them.
Unless it's unusually cheap or unusually expensive, predicting the return a year out is nearly impossible.
That's the only time frame most money managers care about.
Who cares to notice that the likely average return for the next five years is quite predictable, and likely higher than that of the average stock?

For some reason, Berkshire's cycles of outperformance and underperformance seem to start or end around year ends.
This year's theme seems to be "become an underperformer starting in January".
Here's a five year graph of the ratio of BRK and the SPY total return series.
https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=BRK%2FB%3ASPY&p=D&...
Flat line = same performance.
Notice how many multi-month direction changes seem to line up with year ends. Especially start and end of 2015.
Random?
In any case, Berkshire was a big outperformer the latter part of 2018, and has been a big underperformer into 2019.

Jim
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