Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold $314 million worth of shares of Delta Air Lines and divested about 4 percent of its stake in Southwest Airlines, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Berkshire Hathaway sold 13 million shares (18 percent of its stake) of Delta Airlines on March 11 and 12 priced between $22.96 and $26.04 apiece.
The news comes after the airline operator said it expects revenues to plunge 90 percent in the second quarter of FY20.
“Delta is burning more than $60 million in cash every day, we know we still haven’t seen the bottom,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo to employees. “Without the self-help actions we are taking to save costs and raise new financing, that money would be gone by June.”
On Feb 27, Buffett's company had scooped up nearly one million shares of Delta Air Lines at $46.40 apiece, taking its total holding to about 71.9 million shares, or about 11.2 percent, of the company.
Separately, the company dumped about 2.3 million shares of Southwest Airlines for about $74 million.
The aviation sector has been one of the worst-hit from the COVID-19 pandemic as several major airlines were forced into hiatus due to lockdowns around the globe.
In India, over 650 commercial aircraft as well as private jets, comprising other non-scheduled operators, have been parked indefinitely, after PM Modi put the country on a 21-day lockdown on March 24.
The epidemic has made the sky gloomier for aviation players. As per rating agency ICRA, the outlook for India's aviation industry remains "negative" in the wake of viral outbreak.
"The direct impact on travel to and from the coronavirus affected countries, the medium-term impact on the Indian aviation industry would also depend on the economic shock to the global economy," ICRA said in a note on February 27.