Buffett Watch

Berkshire Hathaway Ends Year With Biggest Stock Gain Since 1998

Berkshire Hathaway's stock has ended 2007 with its biggest annual percentage gain since 1998.

Shares in Warren Buffett's holding company closed just a few minutes ago at $141,600.  That's an increase of 28.7 percent from 2006's close of $109,990.

Berkshire shares haven't done better in any calendar year since 1998, when they soared 52.2 percent.  (They then proceeded to fall 20 percent the next year.)

While a nearly 30 percent gain is impressive, it's just below the average annual gain 30.4 percent for Berkshire Hathaway from 1977 to 2007.   Over that same period, Berkshire shares have grown from $89 at the end of 1976 to just under $142,000 today.  That's an increase of 159,001 percent.

Berkshire stock has also outperformed the S&P for the second straight year, after a string of three consecutive underperformances.

Here's the scorecard.  The years in which Berkshire beat the S&P are highlighted in blue.

Happy New Year from Warren Buffett Watch and everyone at CNBC and CNBC.com

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