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Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Crosses Milestone

Warren Buffett.
Donald Bowers
/
Getty Images for Fortune

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, Neb.-based company has a market value of more than $333 billion.

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

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

Buffett 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.

Buffett 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 Buffett did create a lower-priced Class B share in 1996 to outmaneuver 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.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.