(Adds record closing price, updated market value and Buffett
By Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel
Aug 14 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 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.
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)