Buffett takes ride on the BNSF railroad, buys Burlington Northern outright

Warren Buffett likes railroad stocks. One of his largest positions has been in Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI). It turns out that he likes the company so much that his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) will buy the 77.4 percent of Burlington Northern that it does not already own. And at a price of $100 a share, it will pay a huge premium. Burlington Northern shares traded at $76.07 at the end of trading Monday.

Berkshire said that based on the number of outstanding BNI shares (including shares currently owned by Berkshire) on Monday, the transaction is valued at approximately $44 billion, including $10 billion of outstanding Burlington Northern debt, making it the largest acquisition in Berkshire Hathaway history. Buffett explained, "Our country's future prosperity depends on its having an efficient and well-maintained rail system."