The price of a stock is not necessarily indicative of the company's quality. However, looking at some of the highest stock prices ever can be educational for those interested in the history of the stock market. From chocolate candy makers to mining companies, the list of stocks that command top dollar is as long and diverse as those that don't. Here are 10 of the highest stock prices in history.
- Warren Buftet's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) commands the number one position, with an impressive near half-million-dollar stock price.
- Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli holds steady at number two with its six-figure stock price of $118,400.
- Calumet and Hecla, a now-defunct mining company, topped the charts with a historic stock price of $1,000 in 1907.
- British retailer Next PLC edges out most of the competition with its peak stock price of $8,484.
- Internet phenomenons Amazon and Google make the list with stock prices soaring in the thousands.
1. Berkshire Hathaway ($445,000)
Berkshire Hathaway is the holding company of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The stock hit $445,000 per share in May 2021.
Buffett's success as an investor led to a fantastic increase in Berkshire's share price. Berkshire Hathaway A shares (BRK.A) trade at $402,836 per share as of Oct. 11, 2022. For individuals interested in investing in Berkshire, the company's B shares (BRK.B) are much more affordable, coming in at $267.31 per share as of Oct. 11, 2022.
2. Lindt & Sprüngli ($118,400)
Lindt & Sprüngli (0QKN) is a Swiss chocolatier established in the 1800s. Most famous for its Lindt Gold Bunny, truffles, and smooth chocolate-filled chocolates, it has expanded its footprint well beyond its European borders.
Lindt & Sprüngl's brand includes well-known Russell Stover, Lindt, and Ghirardelli. The company employs over 14,000 employees and boasts sales of more than $4.6 billion for 2021.
On Nov. 9, 2021, the company's stock reached an all-time high of $118,400, a six-figure mark that not too many have claimed. The price dropped slightly, reaching a value of $97,750.64 at the end of the trading day on Oct. 11, 2022.
3. Next PLC ($8,484)
Next (NXT) is a British clothing retailer developed in 1981. Established under the J Hepworth & Son, Gentleman's Tailors' umbrella, it sells more than 1000 third-party brands online and operates more than 500 retail stores in Europe, as well as 190 franchised stores in 36 countries.
On Sept. 30, 2021, Next PLC hit a record-high stock price of $8,484. As of Oct. 11, 2022, its stock remained strong at $5,017.67.
Can't afford to buy a single share of any of these stocks? Consider investing in mutual funds. A single mutual fund share gives you exposure to multiple stocks at once at a cheaper price.
4. NVR ($5,308.48)
NVR (NVR) is a homebuilder operating under the names of Ryan Homes, NVHomes, and Heartland Homes. It markets in many states, building and selling homes, as well as offering mortgage financing and title insurance.
NVR hit an all-time high of $5,308.48 in mid-2021. The global crisis took a toll on the company, reducing its price by almost 50% in March 2020. However, it recovered most of those losses within a few months. As of Oct. 11, 2022, the company's stock hit $4,167.68.
The company may have benefited from the historic increase in home prices and the seller's market of homes in the U.S. during the pandemic and its related shortage in lumber and construction materials."
5. Seaboard ($4,699)
Seaboard Corporation (SEB) is a multinational corporation that focuses on agriculture and transportation. The main focus of the company is pork and ocean transport.
Seaboard Foods, one of the company's major businesses, is one of the largest producers of grain and agriculturally derived products in the U.S. The marine division provides shipping services to the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America. Seaboard milling facilities process and sell grain products worldwide. The company may be best known for its large stake in Butterball Turkey.
In April 2019, the company's stock price reached its record high of $4,699 per share. As of Oct. 11, 2022, the company trades at $3.519.77.
6. Amazon ($3,773)
Amazon (AMZN) was still hitting new highs as of July 2021. The company's stock suffered an initial pullback during the 2020 bear market. However, it soon became clear that Amazon would benefit from the crisis as consumers shifted their shopping online.
The online bookstore-turned-everything store recovered from a terrible plunge below $10 a share after the dot-com bubble burst.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the second wealthiest person in the world.
7. Alphabet ($2,670)
Technology giant Alphabet (GOOG), which is best known for its Google search engine, reached a record high of $3,037 in November 2021. Google produces revenue through advertising, publishing tools, and the Android operating system.
Driving Google'srevenue growth is the continued adoption of advertising, which accounts for 80% of Google's revenue (notably its AdSense and AdWords platforms). Google is part of the global super apps and FAMGA club.
Google's suite of products is too long to list—just open the waffle on the google home page and you will get an idea. Google leads education, GPS navigation, global business mapping, web conferencing, cloud storage, email communication, and even autonomous transportation, along with a giant host of other products and services.
8. Calumet and Hecla ($1,000)
Calumet and Hecla was a copper mining business that was established in Houghton County, Michigan. In 1906, the company exceeded all expectations when it produced nearly 100 million pounds of copper. That propelled the company's stock price to $1,000 in 1907. However, in the 1930s, Calumet and Hecla Mining Company closed permanently.
9. Apple ($702.10)
Apple (AAPL) passed Exxon as the largest company in the world in 2011. It reached its all-time high in September of 2012 on the back of a 2012 gain of more than 70%. After reaching all-time highs, the maker of the iPhone, Macintosh computers, and the iPad, saw a severe pullback. The company had a 7-to-1 stock split in 2014 before the share price could fully recover.
On a split-adjusted basis, Apple repeatedly hit new record highs between 2014 and 2020. However, $702.10 remained the all-time price high for Apple without adjusting for splits.
10. General Motors ($697)
General Motors (GM) had a stock price under $30 as of June 2020, but the history of the iconic automaker is long and storied. According to The New York Times, GM was the largest automaker in the world from 1931 to 2008, when Toyota passed it.
GM led the way in automobile innovation but also in creating complicated corporate structures. In September 1916, GM hit a record high of $697 per share but collapsed shortly after because the market for new automobiles dried up. In 2009, the Great Recession forced GM to file for bankruptcy. It later reemerged, but with the federal government holding 500 million shares.
What Is the Highest Stock Price Ever?
Berkshire Hathaway holds the title for having the highest stock price—$445,000.
What Was Apple’s Highest Stock Price Ever?
Apple's highest stock price was $702.10 in September 2012.
How Can You Find a Stock’s All-Time High and All-Time Low?
Stock tracking and financial websites, such as Yahoo Finance provide historical data for most stocks. Some allow users to specifically submit queries for specific price ranges, maximums, and minimums.
The Bottom Line
In the eyes of an investor, price does not necessarily reflect value. A more expensive stock does not always translate to a better company. Instead, these stories relate the journey from idea to income—from genius to growth—all laid out on a tapestry woven by the ever-evolving machine of American capitalism.
On the front of investors affording to buy these stocks, this problem is currently solved thanks to fintech and technology. All stocks now can be fractioned and the investor can buy any portion they can afford. So, a stock split event is not as important and useful as it used to be.
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