Warren Buffett turns to Delta Air Lines as coronavirus triggers sell-off

The Berkshire Hathaway chief recently scooped up nearly one million shares of Delta Air Lines, which has been in a downward spiral

March 04, 2020 / 03:02 PM IST

Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful ~ Warren Buffett

At a time when rising coronavirus fears have triggered a mass exodus from global markets, Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is resorting to one of his legendry principles of value buying.

The Berkshire Hathaway chief recently scooped up nearly one million shares of Delta Air Lines, which has been in a downward spiral amid worries that travel will ebb in the face of the deadly outbreak.

According to a regulatory filing, Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway purchased 976,507 shares of the airline at $46.40 apiece on February 27. With this, its holding has swelled to about 71.9 million shares, or about 11.2 percent, of the company.

The stock had tanked nearly 24 percent since January 20, the day when the first case of COVID-19 was reported outside mainland China. It recovered some losses on March 2, rising over 2 percent, but succumbed to profit-booking once again the next session.

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The novel coronavirus which was first identified in December last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan has now spread to 76 countries killing over 3,000 and leaving hundreds of thousands in quarantine.

The countries are battling feverishly to contain it from turning into a global pandemic and one of the measures imposed are travel restrictions which have sent airline stocks up for a toss.

The carnage in aviation stocks also eloped Indian airlines. IndiGo operator InterGlobe Aviation fell nearly 5 percent, while SpiceJet crashed 8 percent on March 4.

Both stocks have hit their 52-week lows today.
Suyash Maheshwari
first published: Mar 4, 2020 01:54 pm

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