Last month, Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway soared 51% in after-hours trading, to a price of $661,504, reports Business Insider. The gains were short-lived and highlighted the illiquidity and wide spreads of the shares.
Though social media chatter wondered whether a glitch had occurred, data from Nasdaq said the trades were real. The stock settled back down to $427,000 the next day. There’s often a wide bid for Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway after the market closes; its daily trading volume usually averages about 1,160 shares.
Warren Buffett resisted a stock split for decades after he took over the company in 1965, in an effort to attract buy-and-hold investors who are focused more on long-term growth. In 1996 he introduced lower-priced Class B shares, trading at 1/30th the price of the Class A share price of $30,000. After a stock split in 2010, when Berkshire bought railroad operator BNSF, Class B shares now trade just below $300.
Investors who purchased the Class A shares at that 51% premium most likely did so accidentally, and those shares now represent a significant loss.