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


This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and National Interstate’s 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%
National Interstate 5.91% 10.13% 1.94%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

26.6% of Berkshire Hathaway shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.9% of National Interstate shares are held by institutional investors. 5.4% of Berkshire Hathaway shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 11.8% of National Interstate shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Berkshire Hathaway and National Interstate, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Berkshire Hathaway 0 2 1 0 2.33
National Interstate 0 0 0 0 N/A

Berkshire Hathaway currently has a consensus target price of $295,000.00, suggesting a potential upside of Infinity. Given Berkshire Hathaway’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Berkshire Hathaway is more favorable than National Interstate.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Berkshire Hathaway and National Interstate’s top-line 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
National Interstate N/A N/A N/A $1.38 23.66

Berkshire Hathaway is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than National Interstate, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


National Interstate pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Berkshire Hathaway does not pay a dividend. National Interstate pays out 40.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Risk and Volatility

Berkshire Hathaway has a beta of 0.86, indicating that its share price is 14% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Interstate has a beta of 0.88, indicating that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Berkshire Hathaway beats National Interstate on 6 of the 11 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 National Interstate

National Interstate Corporation and its subsidiaries operate as an insurance holding company that underwrites and sells traditional and alternative property and casualty insurance products to the passenger transportation, trucking and moving and storage industries, general commercial insurance to small businesses in Hawaii and Alaska and personal insurance to owners of recreational vehicles throughout the United States. The Company is a specialty property and casualty insurance company with a focus on the transportation industry. The Company operates through property and casualty insurance segment. The Company offers approximately 40 product lines in the specialty property and casualty insurance market, which it groups into approximately four general business components: alternative risk transfer (ART), transportation, specialty personal lines, and Hawaii and Alaska based on the class of business, insureds’ risk participation or geographic location.

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