Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) has ticked up more than 15.6% since the end of the second quarter, topping the major indexes. And, according to a report released by SNL Financial on Tuesday, the investor’s stakes in U.S financial services firms has a lot to do with this stellar performance.
From July 1 to Nov. 21, for instance, the value of Berkshire’s U.S. financial services portfolio was $42.7 billion, an increase of about $5.8 billion, or 15.6%, since the end of the second quarter. Year to date, Berkshire Hathaway has improved about 30%.
That puts its 2013 performance just slightly below that of its new holdings in Goldman Sachs (GS) and slightly above its older interest in Wells Fargo (WFC). And Berkshire, GS and WFC are outperforming both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones so far this year.
That performance is somewhat ironic given the latest earnings news. In the third quarter, Goldman Sachs’ net income was basically flat, ticking up just 1% to $1.52 billion, or $2.88 a share, vs. $1.51 billion, or $2.85, a year ago. These results beat estimates, but net revenue fell way short of expectations.
It ranked 11 out of 13 on ThinkAdvisor’s latest list of 13 best and worst broker-dealers.
Wells Fargo came in ninth. Its net income rose 13% year over year in the third quarter, but it had a 42% drop in its mortgage banking income. It made $80 billion in home loans, down from $139 billion last year, and mortgage.