Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says his company Berkshire Hathaway has sold all of its shares in the four largest US airlines due to coronavirus.
The prior stake, worth north of $4 billion dollars, included positions in United, American, Southwest and Delta Airlines.
Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway had an 11% stake in Delta Air Lines, 10% of American Airlines, 10% of Southwest Airlines, and 9% of United Airlines, according to its annual report and company filings.
Speaking at the annual shareholders’ meeting, Mr Buffett said “The world has changed for airlines,” because of the coronavirus. He then said he had been wrong to invest in the airline industry.
“I was wrong about that business,” Buffett said, speaking on Saturday in Omaha, Neb., at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting, which was held virtually due to the deadly disease.
“The airline business, and I may be wrong, and I hope I’m wrong, changed in a major way,” he explained, noting that it has been through no fault of the CEOs of the companies. “I’ve been basically told not to fly,” he added, noting that he may not fly commercial going forward.
“I wouldn’t normally talk about it, but I think it requires an explanation,” he said of his decision to discuss selling airline stocks.
“We like those airlines but the world has changed…and I don’t know how it’s changed,” he said.
Berkshire Hathaway had more than 4 billion in shares of United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines in December 2019.
‘I was wrong about that business,’ Warren Buffett says of decision to unload stocks in United, American, Delta and Southwest Airlines