Berkshire Hathaway stock could crash 99% and Warren Buffett would still have trounced the S&P 500
- If Berkshire Hathaway stock tanked 99%, Buffett would still have outperformed the S&P 500.
- Berkshire stock soared 3,800,000% between 1965 and 2022, trouncing the S&P 500's 25,000% gain.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway could suffer a 99% crash in its stock price, and it would still have trounced the S&P 500 over a nearly 60-year period.
"Berkshire can lose 99.4% and still have outperformed the S&P 500 since 'current management' bought control in 1965," Chris Bloomstran said in a recent X post. Bloomstran is the president of Semper Augustus Investments, a longtime Berkshire shareholder that counts the company as its number-one holding.
Indeed, Berkshire's stock price skyrocketed by nearly 3,800,000% between 1965 and the end of 2022 — a gain more than 100 times greater than the S&P 500's roughly 25,000% advance over the same period.
Berkshire's Class A shares have climbed another 17% this year to trade at a near-record $550,000 a pop, almost matching the S&P 500's year-to-date rise. As a result, the performance gap between the stock and the index has widened to well over 4,000,000%.
Bloomstran highlighted another striking fact about Berkshire's progress with Buffett at its helm.
"But how about this fun stat: Mr. Buffett PAID under $11 per share for his position in BRK," he posted. "Today, the company EARNS $11 per share. Every 2.25 hours!"
The statistic underscores the vast scale of Berkshire today. The sprawling conglomerate owns scores of businesses including Geico, Duracell, and Dairy Queen, and multibillion-dollar stakes in Apple, Coca-Cola, and other public companies.
Buffett's company generated over $300 billion of revenue and $30 billion of operating income last year. It surpassed $1 trillion of assets at the end of the second quarter, a figure that included nearly $150 billion in cash and Treasury bills, and its roughly $350 billion stock portfolio.
In his letter to shareholders this year, Buffett attributed Berkshire's spectacular gains to a few truly great investments, like its purchases of Coca-Cola and American Express stock more than 25 years ago. He also emphasized that he expects plenty more success in the future.
"Over time, it takes just a few winners to work wonders," he said. "At Berkshire, there will be no finish line."
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