Mark Zuckerberg has put Warren Buffett in his rearview mirror.
Zuckerberg’s tech behemoth, Facebook Inc.
edged out Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
moving ahead of the market capitalization of the Sage of Omaha’s investment conglomerate Thursday.
Facebook added about $5 billion to its market cap and briefly touched a valuation of about $362 billion after the social network late Wednesday reported stellar second-quarter earnings underpinned by its growing mobile-advertising business. Facebook finished trading with a value of $363.8 billion Thursday, pushing it ahead of Berkshire’s Class B shares, which finished with a valuation of $355.7 billion, according to FactSet data.
Check out: A recap of Facebook’s quarterly results
That’s not too shabby for a tech company that was founded a mere 12 years ago and has only been public since 2012. To put things in perspective, Buffett—considered one of the savviest investors on Wall Street—has been running Berkshire for a little more than half a century.
On Thursday, Facebook’s stock reached an all-time high of $128.33. The Menlo Park, Calif. company has been the darling of the tech world over the past two years, managing to catapult its tech rivals as investors struggle to find high-growth companies with revenues topping $10 billion. Indeed, Apple Inc. has been wrestling with petering iPhone sales that had made some investors pessimistic about the outlook for the Cupertino, Calif. company, though Apple also got a recent boost from its earnings report this week.
Facebook shares are up nearly 20% so far this year, compared with a roughly 9.4% year-to-date rise for Berkshire shares. To put that gain in perspective, the S&P 500 index
is up about 6.2% year to date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has risen 5.9%, and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index
is up about 3% on the year.
Passing Berkshire makes Facebook the fifth largest company in the U.S. by market cap, just behind oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp.
which boasts a value of $374 billion, as the above chart shows.
Apple tops the list with a market cap of $562 billion, followed by Google parent Alphabet Inc.
at $519 billion, and Microsoft Corp.
with a value of $439 billion, according to FactSet data.
To be sure, moving passed Berkshire might be fleeting for Facebook, and climbing above oil giant Exxon might be a taller order, though Facebook did briefly move higher than the oil giant in after-hours trading Wednesday.
Some argue that Facebook’s share rise is likely to be more tempered in the future, as the company cautioned Wednesday that revenue growth would slow through the rest of the year after a rapid deployment of more ads in users’ news feeds, as MarketWatch columnist Therese Poletti points out.
Indeed, Facebook retreated in midday-trade Friday, as a number of analysts, including Rich Greenfield of BTIG, expressed reservations about the company’s ability to maintain its breakneck pace of growth.