The skyrocketing prices of Warren Buffet's company Berkshire Hathaway this week prompted the Nasdaq to temporarily suspend publication of the prices of the Class A shares. Due to limitations in the Nasdaq Exchange’s computer system, the maximum price it can handle is currently $429,496.7295.
The massive price of one share of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A stock has been an issue for years and prompted many finance experts to question Buffett’s insistence on never splitting stocks. The price was over $421,000 per share as of May 4. It was quickly approaching the Nasdaq’s maximum price listing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Companies with high per-share prices
While most companies end up doing a stock split when prices climb too high, Buffett is reluctant to make the company’s shares more accessible to more investors.
Currently, Berkshire Hathaway isn’t the only stock to approach very high prices. Amazon and home builder NVR have some of the highest per-share prices in the market right now. Amazon (AMZN) closed May 6 at over $3,306 per share, while NVR closed at over $5,134 per share.
Why Berkshire Hathaway stock is so expensive
Berkshire Hathaway, the company headed by Buffett, has experienced incredible growth over the decades. It showed an overall gain of 2,810,526 percent from 1964 to 2020 and handily beat the S&P 500’s 23,454 percent.
The other primary cause of the incredibly high share prices of Berkshire Hathaway Class A stock is Buffett himself. The CEO doesn't believe in stock splitting and has said so many times over the years.
Buffett prefers high-quality companies with potential for long-term growth and profit. He has said that stock splitting would make the company’s shares more accessible to more investors, but it would also encourage short-term investors with little experience or knowledge.
A spokesperson for Nasdaq said that the move to stop broadcasting Berkshire Hathaway stock prices over certain data feeds was a temporary measure. It's working on an upgrade to remedy the situation, which might be finished by the end of the month, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Most expensive stocks
As of March 23, 2020, two other stocks were pricing above $100,000 per share:
- Pendrell Corp. Class A shares were $153,000 apiece.
- Bactolac Pharmaceutical, Inc. had a price of $120,000 per share.
Recently, Lindt & Sprungli AG was trading at above $72,000 per share.
Next Plc. (LSE:NXT) has reached above $6,553 per share.
NVR Inc. provides home building and mortgage banking and has the second-highest share price of U.S. stock after Berkshire Hathaway. It closed at $5,134 on May 6.
Seaboard Corporation is also among the highest priced stocks per Class A share. SEB closed on the NYSE at $3,785.71 per share on May 6.
E-commerce giant Amazon is in a similar league and is priced above $3,306 this week.
Another high-priced stock is Booking Holdings (BKNG). Most recently, it closed at $2,279.35 per share. Booking Holdings was formerly known as Priceline and provides online travel booking services.
Alphabet, Inc. is also one of the highest-listed stocks. Its Class A shares (GOOGL) were recently over $2,337.