Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Warren Buffett’s company, now owns more than 10% of Delta Air Lines. Buffett calls that an unintended mistake.
Last month, independent of one another, Delta bought back more of its own stock. Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathway increased its holdings in Delta. When the numbers were crunched, Berkshire Hathaway owned more than 10% of Delta. Berkshire Hathaway purchased 5,368,956 additional shares of Delta stock, pushing up its ownership to nearly 71 million shares.
Speaking to CNBC, Buffet responded to this revelation by buying even more.
What I didn’t realize was that that purchase had taken us over 10 percent. I was already in territory I didn’t plan to get, so I just decided to buy a whole lot more stock.
That doesn’t sound like a mistake to me…
Buffet’s willingnerss to invest in airlines marks a 180º turn from his stance for many years after nearly being burned by US Airways (he still made a profit on that deal…). Rumors continue to swirl that Buffett is looking into a full airline acqusition.
The airline industry is a very, very competitive business. I don’t think it’s a suicidal business anymore, but it was for quite a while.
You can watch the full interview below. Other topics are touched on including the new Apple credit card, Lyft, and Buffet’s thoughts on Boeing and the 737 MAX crash.
image: Flickr / FORTUNE