December 15th, 2015

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway scores $1 billion gain on Snowflake stock

Summary List PlacementBerkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett wanders the company trade show before his company's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska April 30, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has scored a $1 billion gain on its Snowflake shares.
  • The billionaire investor's company spent about $735 million for 6.1 million Snowflake shares when the cloud-data platform went public last month.
  • Snowflake's stock price jumped 18% in two days to close at nearly $300 on Thursday, valuing Berkshire's stake at about $1.8 billion.
  • The technology group commands a market capitalization of more than $80 billion, despite earning just $265 million in revenue last financial year.
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Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is sitting on a $1 billion gain from its Snowflake shares after they closed at a record high on Thursday.

Snowflake stock surged 18% over the course of Wednesday and Thursday to close at nearly $300 — not too far off the $319 intraday high it reached during its first day of trading last month.

Buffett's company shelled out $735 million to buy 6.1 million Snowflake shares at the $120 IPO price. The technology company's stock price has soared almost 150% from that level, boosting the value of Berkshire's stake to $1.8 billion —an almost $1.1 billion gain on its investment.

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Snowflake's stock gains have lifted its market capitalization above $80 billion, despite the fact it earned only $265 million in revenue and lost nearly $349 million last financial year.

Berkshire's backing surprised many investors, given Buffett has avoided lossmaking, aggressively valued technology companies and IPOs for most of his career. While one of his deputies was behind the investment, the bet suggests that Buffett's company is adapting its approach and spotting new kinds of opportunities.

Update: Snowflake's stock dropped as much as 8% on Friday, reducing Berkshire's gain to a little under $1 billion.

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