Hathaway stock hits new milestone at $200,000
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[August 15, 2014]
By Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - Berkshire
Hathaway Inc's share price on Thursday surpassed and
closed above $200,000 for the first time, the latest
milestone for a company that Warren Buffett has built
over nearly five decades into what some analysts view as
a microcosm of the U.S. economy.
Class A shares of Berkshire, which have never been split, closed up
$3,500, or 1.8 percent, at $202,850, giving the Omaha,
Nebraska-based company a market value of more than $333 billion. The
share price had earlier rose as high as $203,025.
Berkshire's share price has more than doubled since it first crossed
the $100,000 barrier on Oct. 5, 2006. The Standard & Poor's 500
<.SPX> has climbed just 44 percent since that date.
Buffett, who turns 84 on Aug. 30 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 & Co
and Coca-Cola Co.
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. 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 Buffett launched
in 1996 to thwart unit investment trusts purporting to be "clones"
of Berkshire but which carried high costs.
Those shares now 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. They
closed on Thursday up $2.22, or 1.7 percent. at $135.30.
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Since 2006, Buffett has been donating Berkshire shares to several
charities. He still owns about one-fifth of Berkshire, which was a
failing textile company before he took it over in 1965, and controls
about one-third of its voting power.
Buffett's net worth was about $66.3 billion after Thursday's market
close, Forbes magazine said.
(Reporting by Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel in New York;
Editing by Bernadette Baum, Bernard Orr)
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