A:

The most expensive publicly traded stock of all time is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), which is about $245,000 per share (April, 2017). Berkshire hit a major milestone in December, 2016 when the stock hit $250,000, and the all-time high was in March, 2017 when it hit $266,000. Thanks to spectacular shareholder gains and the idiosyncrasies of its founder, this share value is unlikely to be matched by anything other than continued gains in Berkshire’s share price.

By market capitalization Apple Inc. (AAPL) is the biggest at $741 billion, followed by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) at $401 billion and $344 billion respectively.

Back in 2000, Chinese energy giant PetroChina (PTR) reached an estimated market value of around $1 trillion during its IPO. This valuation, however, this included counting shares not publicly traded in the total share count calculation, and the valuation didn't stick (April, 2017 market capitalization was about $131 billion).

In terms of private companies, a share of the Chilean stock exchange, Bolsa de Comercio Santiago, will cost you $2.5 million. A share of Argentina's market operator costs about $2.1 million.

The reason why certain stocks are priced so high is usually because the company has never done a stock split. (For more: Understanding Stock Splits)

The Bottom Line

On a pure market value measure, Apple is the most valuable company of all time. Someday, another company’s market cap will exceed $741 billion, and maybe —though less likely — another company will surpass Berkshire Hathaway as the highest priced single stock.

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