Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway stock price is too high for Nasdaq to handle

Buffett has famously refused to split the stock.

May 7, 2021, 4:31 PM

Berkshire Hathaway's Class A shares performed well this week in the wake of the company's annual shareholder meeting.

Too well for Nasdaq's computer system, in fact.

CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett has famously refused to split the stock, which companies do to lower the price of a stock to make it more attractive to investors, because of his emphasis on attracting long-term investors.

With that, the share price moved past $420,000 -- and passed a threshold Nasdaq's computer system was not designed to handle. The current system can only manage prices up to $429,496.7295, as The Wall Street Journal explained in depth, and Berkshire's share price was continuing to climb.

Recognizing this could be a problem, Nasdaq made the decision to temporarily stop publishing the last sale information of the stock when it came within 2% of the max threshold, which happened Tuesday.

PHOTO: The Nasdaq logo is displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages in the background in a Photo Illustration.
The Nasdaq logo is displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages in the background in a Photo Illustration.
LightRocket via Getty Images

"Data integrity is of utmost importance at Nasdaq, we therefore instituted a temporary measure starting May 4, 2021 to ensure that no incorrect data is disseminated prior to the completion of a technical upgrade," a Nasdaq spokesperson said in a statement obtained by ABC News. "As a result, the real-time price information of the sole affected security (BRK.A) will not be available on Nasdaq proprietary data feeds until May 17, 2021."

Nasdaq already had a fix on the way. Last month, the exchange announced it would be upgrading its system from the current 4-byte price upper limit to an 8-byte long-form trade message. That update will be effective May 17, at which point the data on Berkshire's Class A shares will be fully back up.

PHOTO: Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., laughs while playing cards on the sidelines the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., May 1, 2016.
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., laughs while playing cards on the sidelines the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb., May 1, 2016.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

No other company comes close to Buffett's mammoth share price. The next closest, according to The Wall Street Journal, is NVR, Inc., which, as of Friday, was at just over $5,200.

Meanwhile, Berkshire's Class A share price has continued to rise, climbing above $437,000 Friday.

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