Just to be clear, the 10% in earnings growth reported for Q4 (16% pre-tax) was not sequential. It was as compared to Q4 of 2014. Obviously, it will be important to see if the growth continues when Q1 and Q2 are announced, but Q4 was a good quarter and the commentary bodes well going forward. I agree with you that the large disparity between pre-tax and net results is puzzling. However, even the lower net number is a good one.
You say you need to see 10% Q over Q. That's exactly what they delivered in q4 -- 10% q over q.. As I pointed out, the 16% increase pre-tax is particularly impressive and far more meaningful in demonstrating growth.
They had a bad quarter in Q3. The many years of positive surprises and consistent growth gives them the right to have one bad quarter that gets forgotten about. Things seem to be back on track with the quarter reported today and the growth initiatives going forward.
If Yahoo doesn't allow the link to take, go to seeking alpha and put in amnf in the search window. It's the first article with Buffett in the title.
A particularly good number is pre-tax income which was up 16%, compared to 10% for net income (don't know why the tax rate apparently increased). The former is more indicative of the growth of the business and consistent with the 16% increase in sales. All in all a good report IMHO. Remember that Q4 is a seasonally weak quarter. The commentary regarding initiatives to increase production are positive. Plus, the yen has been strengthening recently which is a positive for Japanese sales in Q1.
The confusion arises because there are 2 ways to compute the %: as a % of n.a.v or as a % of assets. Assets includes debt so the energy % is roughly half of what it is as a % of n.av. Whether or not utilities is included is another source of a difference, but the n.a.v. vs. assets is the key.
The higher number takes the leverage into account. In other words oil may be about 8% of the portfolio which includes debt, but if the oil investments went to 0, the nav would go down 17%. It works in reverse when the oil investments recover.
"give us optimism that 4th quarter financial performance will meet or surpass the then record financial performance posted by the Company in 2014. Of course, with approximately one month to go before final 4th quarter results are in, we cannot predict the quarter’s outcome." a
I read at as referring to Q4 and the expectation is that Q4 of 2015 will beat (or at least meet) Q4 of 2014 which was he best Q4 ever as of that time. Presumably, this refers to both revenues and earnings, presumably both total earnings and earnings per share.
Flug bought another 10K on Monday ( up to141K shares) and director Samuel Katz reported buying 5K+ on Friday. and now owns 169K shares. The combination of these buys is a very healthy sign. The old adage that there are many reasons for selling a stock but only one reason for buying, has some truth to it. I bought more this morning at 6.715.