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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to             

Commission file number 001-14905

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

47-0813844

State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

3555 Farnam Street, Omaha, Nebraska

 

68131

(Address of principal executive office)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (402346-1400

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbols

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Class A Common Stock

Class B Common Stock

0.750% Senior Notes due 2023

1.125% Senior Notes due 2027

1.625% Senior Notes due 2035

1.300% Senior Notes due 2024

2.150% Senior Notes due 2028

0.625% Senior Notes due 2023

0.000% Senior Notes due 2025

2.375% Senior Notes due 2039

0.500% Senior Notes due 2041

2.625% Senior Notes due 2059

 

BRK.A

BRK.B

BRK23

BRK27

BRK35

BRK24

BRK28

BRK23A

BRK25

BRK39

BRK41

BRK59

 

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Large accelerated filer   Accelerated filer   Non-accelerated filer   Smaller reporting company   Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the Registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.      

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  

State the aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 30, 2020: $336,500,000,000*

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the Registrant’s classes of common stock:

 

February 16, 2021—Class A common stock, $5 par value

640,586 shares

February 16, 2021—Class B common stock, $0.0033 par value

1,336,348,609 shares

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Registrant’s Annual Meeting to be held May 1, 2021 are incorporated in Part III.

 

*

This aggregate value is computed at the last sale price of the common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2020. It does not include the value of Class A common stock and Class B common stock held by Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant and members of their immediate families, some of whom may not constitute “affiliates” for purpose of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

 


 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Page No.

 

Part I

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business Description

K-1

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

K-22

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

K-26

Item 2.

Description of Properties

K-26

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

K-28

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

K-29

 

Part II

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Security Holder Matters and Issuer
Purchases of Equity Securities

K-29

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

K-32

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

K-33

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

K-66

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

K-67

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets—
December 31, 2020 and December 31, 201
9

K-70

 

Consolidated Statements of Earnings—
Years Ended December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 201
8

K-72

 

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income—
Years Ended December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 201
8

K-73

 

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity—
Years Ended December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 201
8

K-73

 

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows—
Years Ended December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019, and December 31, 201
8

K-74

 

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

K-75

 

 

 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

K-116

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

K-116

Item 9B.

Other Information

K-116

 

Part III

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

K-116

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

K-116

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder
Matters

K-116

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

K-116

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

K-116

 

Part IV

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

K-116

 

 

Exhibit Index

K-120

Signatures

K-122

 

 


 

 

 

Part I

Item 1. Business Description

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (“Berkshire,” “Company” or “Registrant”) is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a large number of diverse business activities. The most important of these are insurance businesses conducted on both a primary basis and a reinsurance basis, a freight rail transportation business and a group of utility and energy generation and distribution businesses. Berkshire also owns and operates numerous other businesses engaged in a variety of activities, as identified herein. Berkshire is domiciled in the state of Delaware, and its corporate headquarters is in Omaha, Nebraska.

Berkshire’s operating businesses are managed on an unusually decentralized basis. There are few centralized or integrated business functions. Berkshire’s corporate senior management team participates in and is ultimately responsible for significant capital allocation decisions, investment activities and the selection of the Chief Executive to head each of the operating businesses.

Berkshire’s senior management is also responsible for establishing and monitoring Berkshire’s corporate governance practices, including monitoring governance efforts, including those at the operating businesses, and participating in the resolution of governance-related issues as needed. Berkshire’s Board of Directors is responsible for assuring an appropriate successor to the Chief Executive Officer. The Berkshire Code of Business Conduct and Ethics emphasizes, among other things, the commitment to ethics and compliance with the law and provides basic standards for ethical and legal behavior of its employees.

Berkshire and its consolidated subsidiaries employed approximately 360,000 people worldwide at the end of 2020. Human capital and resources are an integral and essential component of Berkshire’s businesses. Consistent with Berkshire’s decentralized management philosophy, Berkshire’s operating businesses establish specific policies and practices for their businesses concerning the attraction and retention of personnel within the organizations. Such policies and practices generally address, among other things: maintaining a safe work environment for employees, customers and other business partners, offering competitive compensation to employees, including health insurance and retirement benefits and incentives, providing learning and career development opportunities, and hiring practices intended to identify qualified candidates and promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Insurance and Reinsurance Businesses

Berkshire’s insurance and reinsurance business activities are conducted through numerous domestic and foreign-based insurance entities. Berkshire’s insurance businesses provide insurance and reinsurance of property and casualty and life, accident and health risks worldwide. Berkshire’s insurance businesses employed approximately 51,000 people at the end of 2020.

In direct or primary insurance activities, the insurer assumes the risk of loss from persons or organizations that are directly subject to the risks. Such risks may relate to property, casualty (or liability), life, accident, health, financial or other perils that may arise from an insurable event. In reinsurance activities, the reinsurer assumes defined portions of risks that other direct insurers or reinsurers assumed in their own insuring activities.

Reinsurance contracts are normally classified as treaty or facultative contracts. Treaty reinsurance refers to reinsurance coverage for all or a portion of a specified group or class of risks ceded by the direct insurer, while facultative reinsurance involves coverage of specific individual underlying risks. Reinsurance contracts are further classified as quota-share or excess. Under quota-share (proportional or pro-rata) reinsurance, the reinsurer shares proportionally in the original premiums and losses of the direct insurer or reinsurer. Excess (or non-proportional) reinsurance provides for the indemnification of the direct insurer or reinsurer for all or a portion of the loss in excess of an agreed upon amount or “retention.” Both quota-share and excess reinsurance contracts may provide for aggregate limits of indemnification.

Insurance and reinsurance are generally subject to regulatory oversight throughout the world. Except for regulatory considerations, there are virtually no barriers to entry into the insurance and reinsurance industry. Competitors may be domestic or foreign, as well as licensed or unlicensed. The number of competitors within the industry is not known. Insurers and reinsurers compete on the basis of reliability, financial strength and stability, financial ratings, underwriting consistency, service, business ethics, price, performance, capacity, policy terms and coverage conditions.

K-1


 

Insurers based in the United States (“U.S.”) are subject to regulation by their states of domicile and by those states in which th