Nation | Business

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Crosses Milestone

NPR | Aug. 16, 2014 7:09 a.m.

Contributed By:

John Ydstie

Getty Images for Fortune, Donald Bowers

The most expensive stock on the New York Stock Exchange just got a little more expensive. A Class A share of Berkshire Hathaway is now worth more than $200,000.

On Thursday, shares closed up $3,500 at $202,850. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has a market value of more than $333 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway is the company created and run by Warren Buffet for nearly five decades now. The conglomerate owns more than 80 firms including Geico Insurance, BNSF Railway and Dairy Queen.

It’s stock price has doubled since October of 2006 when it crossed the $100,000 mark. Buffet’s legendary investment talent helped Berkshire shares outperform the S&P 500 index by a wide margin during that period.

Buffet is the world’s third-richest person and owns about 20 percent of the company. He has never split Berkshire’s shares — something many companies have done multiple times to make their share price more attractive to investors.

Buffet says he believes a lower share price would prompt speculative trading, and he doesn’t want investors to think they can make a lot of money fast by trading Berkshire’s stock and then blame him if they don’t.

But Buffet did create a lower priced Class B share in 1996 to out maneuver fund managers who were creating clones of Berkshire stock. Those Class B shares trade at a small fraction of the price of the original share.

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