Berkshire Hathaway stock hits new milestone at $200,000

Warren Buffett’s net worth estimated at $65.3bn

Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, who turns 84 on August 30th and is the world’s third-richest person, oversees a conglomerate with more than 80 businesses. Photograph: Bloomberg

Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, who turns 84 on August 30th and is the world’s third-richest person, oversees a conglomerate with more than 80 businesses. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

Berkshire Hathaway’s share price has crossed $200,000 (€150,000) for the first time, the latest milestone for the company that Warren Buffett built over almost five decades into what some analysts view as a microcosm of the US economy.

Class A shares of Berkshire, which have never been split, rose as high as $201,114, as the Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s market value swelled to $327.8 billion, making it the fourth-largest in the benchmark S&P 500 index.

Berkshire’s share price has doubled since it first crossed the $100,000 barrier in October 2006. The S&P 500 jumped 44 per cent between then and Wednesday this week.

Mr Buffett, who turns 84 on August 30th and is the world’s third-richest person, oversees a conglomerate with more than 80 businesses ranging from Geico car insurance to the BNSF railroad to Dairy Queen ice cream, and more than $119 billion of stocks such as Wells Fargo and Coca-Cola.

In the second quarter, Berkshire Hathaway posted a record $6.4 billion profit, helped by a stock swap and growing earnings in many businesses, on revenue of $49.76 billion.

By some measures, Berkshire remains moderately priced, trading at about 1.4 times its book value, a measure of assets minus liabilities, in the most recent quarter. Mr Buffett has said he will consider buybacks only at or below a 1.2 times multiple.

Berkshire also has lower-cost Class B shares, which Mr Buffett launched in 1996 to thwart unit investment trusts purporting to be “clones” of Berkshire but which carried high costs. They trade at about 1/1,500th of a Class A share and carry voting rights equal to 1/10,000th of a Class A share.

Mr Buffett has since 2006 been donating Berkshire shares to charities, but still owns about one-fifth of the company and controls about one- third of its voting power. His net worth was about $65.3 billion as of Wednesday, Forbes magazine said. – (Reuters)