Will Berkshire Hathaway's retail stock price bring retail investors?
Nov 4th 2009 5:50PM
Updated Dec 3rd 2009 1:54PM
For years, the price of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)'s Class A and Class B common stock has been priced out of the range of what most retail investors can afford. A share of the less expensive of the two classes, the B, trades at about $3,300.
Berkshire, run by Warren Buffett, announced on Tuesday that its Board of Directors approved a 50-for-1 split of its Class B Common Stock. The transaction still has to be approved by shareholders, but that's nearly a sure thing.
Will smaller investors want to join Warren Buffett as a Berkshire owner, if shares are on sale for $60 or $70? Absolutely.
Even though the value of Berkshire's shares has risen less briskly in the last two years than it has since the company was founded, Buffett is still the most famous investor in the world -- and the world's second wealthiest, according to Forbes's analysis.
Berkshire stock is not only a way to invest with one of the most famous financiers in history, it's also a way to own the equivalent of a mutual fund of top-notch companies. Berkshire will own Burlington Northern (BNI), which it has just announced it will take over. The conglomerate also owns big pieces of Wal-Mart (WMT), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Coca-Cola (KO).
The huge majority of investors in America would give a lot to shake Buffett's hand. But if they can't, at least a piece of his company may soon be within their reach.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.