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Berkshire Intraday High Tops $100,000

October 06, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Warren E. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. rose above $100,000 a share for the first time during trading Thursday as investors bet that fewer hurricanes in 2006 would limit insurance payouts.

Berkshire's Class A shares, which have never been split, rose as high as $100,100, their all-time record and 77 times the next-highest-priced stock listed on a U.S. exchange. The stock, which has gone eight sessions without falling, closed at $98,995, up 1.3%.

"The hurricane season this year appears to be extremely mild," said Stanley Nabi, who holds 100 shares of Berkshire among the $7.5 billion he helps manage at Silvercrest Asset Management. Given that the share price only regained 2004 levels in August, he said, "there's more room on the upside."

Berkshire is up about 12% this year amid optimism that its insurance units, which account for about half its profit, will emerge from the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season relatively unscathed. Last year, the company had $3.4 billion in claims from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

A beneficiary of the stock's gain is charity. Buffett said in June that he would give away most of his estimated $47-billion fortune to a foundation run by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife.

Buffett, 76, has spent the last four decades building Berkshire from a failing Massachusetts textile manufacturer into a holding company with dozens of businesses and a market value of $152.3 billion. In the process, he became the world's second-richest man, after Gates.

Reaching $100,000 "was inevitable given the rate at which they accumulate cash and don't pay a dividend," said Donald Yacktman of Yacktman Asset Management.

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