Buffett Watch

Buffett's Berkshire hits $200,000 milestone


For the first time ever, a Class A share of Berkshire Hathaway will cost you more than $200,000. That's just one share for the price of a nice 6-bedroom, 4-bath house in Omaha.

The stock hit the milestone about 45 minutes after the start of trading today.

While many companies use stock splits to keep their per-share price under $1000, or even below $100, Warren Buffett isn't a fan of that manuever because he thinks it encourages short-term trading rather than long-term ownership.

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As a result, Berkshire's Class A has, by far, the largest dollar price per share for any stock trading in the U.S.

(Number two on the list: agribusiness and transportation company Seaboard at just under $2,900 per share.)

Berkshire first closed above $1,000 per share almost 31 years ago on August 26, 1983, a few days before Buffett celebrated his 53rd birthday.

It took almost another 9 years to reach $10,000 on October 16, 1992.

The stock closed at $100,000 a share just over 14 years after that on October 23, 2006.

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After closing as high as $149,200 on December 10, 2007, Berkshire dropped along with the rest of the stock market during the credit crisis, closing as low as $72,400 on March 5, 2009. That was a drop of 51.5 percent.

Since then, Berkshire has soared around 176 percent, compared to the benchmark S&P's 183 percent surge.

(Berkshire's Class B shares have been split and were added to the S&P in early 2010. They're now trading around $133 each.)

The Class A stock price has remained in six-digit territory since January, 2010.

With Berkshire's stock at the $200,000 level, the company has a market value of more than $328 billion.

Buffett has been giving away big chunks of his Berkshire stock to charity over the past 8 years, but he still owned 321,000 Class A shares as of mid-July. That stock is now worth $64.2 billion.

Correction: Berkshire's market value has been corrected.

By CNBC's Alex Crippen. Follow him on Twitter: @alexcrippen