In the modern world, almost everyone is familiar with the concept of “stock" (share).
As everyone for whom this concept is not over their heads knows they can earn good money if they invest in growing companies.
For example, if you buy a share for $90 today, and its price rises to $135 in a year, your profit would be $45 or exactly 50% of the invested funds.
So, you earn when the share price goes up.
It is also believed that stocks of the most valuable companies are always increasing in price.
In this article, we would like to present a list of companies with the highest share price as of January 20, 2020.
Meet 10 the Most Expensive Stocks in the World
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Market value: $554.25 bln.
Industry: insurance, finances, railway transport, utilities, food and, non-food products.
Yes, that's right, the price of one share is $340,185, which makes it the most expensive stock in the world. In the next section of the article, we will disclose the secret of such a high share price of this company.
The company is known for its permanent owner, an American investor and an entrepreneur Warren Buffett. It’s headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
The share of $340,185 puts Berkshire Hathaway Inc. at the top of 10 most high-priced shares in the world list.
- GEICO (care insurance);
- General Re (reinsurance);
- Berkshire Hathaway Primary Group (insurance);
- Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group (insurance and reinsurance);
- BNSF — (railway transport);
- Berkshire Hathaway Energy (electricity and gas supply);
- McLane Company (wholesale commerce).
The number of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders at its annual meeting exceeded 40,000 people in 2015.
That’s why the meeting earned the facetious nickname “Woodstock for Capitalists".
Lindt & Sprüngli AG
Market value: $20.41 bln.
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (or Lindt for short) is a Swiss chocolate company, specialized in confectionery and chocolate production. It also owns a chain of branded stores and cafes – more than 410 worldwide.
Due to the pretty high value of its shares, Lindt takes the second place on our rating.
The company was founded in 1836 in Zurich. It all started with the “David Sprüngli & Son" candy store that grew over time to one of the most successful companies in the world. In 1988 it purchased Rudolf Lindt's chocolate factory and was renamed to “Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner und Züricher Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli".
In 1994 the Lindt company made another purchase – the Austrian confectionery Hofbauer. In 1997 they bought the Italian company Caffarel, in 1997 – American Ghirardelli, and in 2014 – Russell Stover Candies.
Lindt has its factories in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and the U.S.
Along with the chocolate bars and sweets, the company also produces ice cream and is famous for its season chocolate figures: Easter bunnies, Christmas deers and bears, figures of Santa, snowmen, and so on.
The most popular product line of the company is called Lindor.
Market value: $4.85 bln.
Industry: Transportation and agriculture.
The Seaboard Corporation share is the third most valuable in the World.
Seaboard Corporation is a diversified conglomerate that operates in agriculture and maritime transportation in several industries around the world.
In the United States, the company mainly engages in pork production and ocean transportation.
The headquarter is in Merriam, Kansas, USA.
Market value: $13.97 bln.
Industry: Building and mortgage loans.
NVR Incorporated is an American homebuilding and mortgage company.
The company has built houses for more than 365,000 customers in 15 US states since its establishment.
NVR Inc. owns the following subsidiaries:
- Ryan Homes (building);
- NVHomes (building);
- Rymarc Homes (building);
- Fox Ridge Homes (building);
- Heartland Homes (building);
- NVR Mortgage (financial services).
The company is headquartered in Reston, Virginia.
Market value: $87.35 bln.
Industry: Tourism and services.
Booking Holdings, previously known as The Priceline Group Inc., is the world's largest travel service provider. The list of company services includes car rental, ticket sales, reservation of offices and hotel rooms, and much more.
The history of the corporation began in 1997 when entrepreneur Jay Walker founded The Priceline Group Inc. Two years later, the company entered the IPO, with $12.9 billion in asset value for the first trading day. At the end of 2018, the company reported an annual income of almost $14.5 billion.
Interestingly, in February 2018, the name of the company was changed from The Priceline Group Inc. to Booking Holdings. Thus, the founders wanted to emphasize the importance of the corporation's most popular brand – Booking.com.
Companies that are parts of Booking Holdings:
Market value: $933.67 bln.
Industry: retail business.
Amazon is an American retail company selling and delivering various goods over the Internet.
Currently, it is one of the most valuable companies in the world, with a market capitalization of over 900 bln.
Internet users, suppliers, and producers can sell any goods on their own by using Amazon’s website like an online shop. Therefore, the company’s major business line is selling various goods.
The popularity of service soared thanks to high-quality goods, low prices, prompt delivery, and a wide assortment.
The company was established in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. Amazon is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
According to the overall estimations, the company employs about 647.5 thousand people and has more than $162 billion in assets. Its annual turnover amounts to approximately $232 billion.
Market value: $9.29 bln.
Industry: Communication Services.
Cable One, Inc. (branded as Cable ONE) is a US-based cable services provider and a former subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. The company’s name and line of activity date back to 1997; the company was known as Post-Newsweek Cable to that time.
Cable One is the 7th largest provider of cable services in the USA, servicing more than 800,000 customers in 21 states. Its primary range of services includes high-speed Internet, cable television, and telephone service.
It is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona (even though they do not provide services in the Phoenix area).
Market value: $985.44 bln.
The internationally famous Internet company Google recently changed its official name to Alphabet.
The company was out of the scope of the famous Google search engine a long time ago, and now it owns plenty of other companies as well.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who jointly created the mega-company in 1998, are the heads of the Internet holding.
More than thirty popular services and sub-companies belong to the Alphabet Inc., for example, AdWords, Android, YouTube, etc.
Google is headquartered Mountainview, in California.
Market value: $16.12 bln.
Markel Corporation is a holding company providing insurance, reinsurance, and investment solutions across the globe.
Today, Markel Corporation is led by Executive Chairman Alan I. Kirshner, who is one of the authors of the Markel Style.
The company is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
Market value: $26.57 bln.
Industry: Retailer of automotive products.
AutoZone is an American company specialized in retailing of automotive goods and parts. It’s the second-largest retailer of automotive parts and accessories in the USA after the Advance Auto Parts.
Founded in 1979, AutoZone is based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.
The company has over 6,000 stores across 49 US states.
Wait! Where is Apple?
While looking through this article, you might have noticed that such large companies as Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and many more didn’t make it onto the list of TOP companies with the highest stock price.
What is the reason for their absence?
The answer lies in the title of this article: “Which are the Most Expensive Stocks (per share)”. It means that the ranking is based on the price of a single share.
However, a single share price means nothing in this context as the number of issued shares serves as another major factor (the number varies from company to company).
If we multiply the price of a single share with the number of these shares, we’ll get the market value of a company.
Therefore, a company with a market value of $554.25 bln ranks first on our list. While Apple, with the $1.37 trillion of market value and a price of $313.10 per share, is not even included.
The number of Apple shares is much higher than that of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., but they are significantly cheaper.
That’s the key: the most high-priced shares are not always the best ones…
You might also want to look at the TOP most valuable companies list by their market capitalization. There you’ll find the mentioned companies like Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft.
You can also see TOP 10 world's most valuable brands on our website and discover the difference between a company and a brand.
Why are shares of Berkshire Hathaway so expensive?
When we first noticed such a high price for Berkshire Hathaway shares, we thought it was a mistake, but we were wrong.
It is true that a single share of this company can be purchased at a record price of $340,185. Just think about what someone can get instead for this piece of paper.
The point is that the company owner, Warren Buffett, has never carried the procedure of stock split.
Stock split implies increasing the number of shares along with depreciating their value. For example, earlier, a share was trading for $1,000 per share. Then, after the stock split, everyone who owned a single share priced $1,000 will have two shares with the price of $500 each. But the total amount will remain $1,000.
The stock split doesn’t change things fundamentally for a company or its value. But it might affect the attractiveness of its shares for smaller investors. Thereby, such a decision might result in higher liquidity and the growth of the company value.
A good example: In 2014, Apple shares traded at $650 per share until they underwent a 7-for-1 split. If you owned a single share at that time, you would become a happy owner of seven shares priced seven times less the before – $92 instead of $650.
Warren Buffett has never split the shares since their issue. In 1980, a single share price was $300. In 1990, it increased to about $7 000. In 2000, it was more than $50 000, and, today, it is $340,185!