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Buffett Says Delta Purchases Put Him Above 10% at Mistake



(Bloomberg) – Warren Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s investment in Delta Air Lines Inc. rose above his comfort threshold by mistake.

The stake climbed when Delta bought back his own stock and Berkshire increased its holdings, according to regulatory filings this month.

us over 10 percent, ”Buffett said Thursday in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC from a benefit luncheon in Grapevine, Texas. "I was already in territory I didn't plan to get, so I just decided to buy a lot more stock." Buffett spurned the airline industry for years after what he acknowledged was on US Airways Group Inc. . in 1989. But he has been piling into airline stocks since 2016, buying up stakes in Delta, Southwest Airlines Co., American Airlines Group Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc.

Buffett has been on the hunt for an "elephant-sized acquisition" to spend some of his more than $ 100 billion cash arrows. Those ambitions had been hampered by "sky-high" prices for many businesses, the Berkshire CEO said in an annual letter released in February. He had previously said he would not rule out entire airline, and recently he had an appetite for such a deal.

"The airline industry is a very, very competitive business," Buffett said Thursday. “I don't think it's a suicidal business anymore, but it was for quite a while.”

Here are some of Buffett's comments on other topics:

On Boeing

Buffett said that Boeing Co. It has a lot of work to do two fatal crashes that grounded its 737 Max airplanes. Still, he noted the overall increase in industrywide in safety in recent years. "The airline industry has been so safe," Buffett said. “It's almost impossible to believe how much that is improved in terms of safety during my lifetime.” On Lyft’s IPO

Buffett said he was never a big buyer of initial public offerings. "Buying new offerings in the market in the market, I don't think anything the average person should think about at all," he said.

On Apple

Apple Inc., among Berkshire's largest investments, this week unveiled new digital services with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The technology company has room to take risks that may not work, Buffett said, that it is predicting how these ventures will out. "That's a company that can afford a mistake or two," Buffett said. “Apple should do some things that don't work.” Buffett brushed off any potential concerns about Apple entering the credit-card market, given that Berkshire also owns a stake in American Express Co.

On the Economy

The billionaire investor said that the U.S. economy appeared to slow down its rate of increase, echoing comments made after the release of its annual letter in February. "It does look like the pace of increase in the economy has slowed down," Buffett said Thursday. "I'd call it somewhere close to noticeably, but I wouldn't go beyond that."

Berkshire's real estate brokerage network and some of its rivals are facing scrutiny in lawsuit that the companies have conspired to inflate commissions. He said he doesn't believe those groups work as a cartel and said the broker who sold his Emerald If you are looking for demons in the American capitalist system, I don't think you'll find it with your local real estate broker, "Buffett said.

(Updates with comments on Boeing, Lift, Apple after seventh paragraph.)

Contact the reporter on this story: Katherine Chiglinsky in New York at kchiglinsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Micha el m Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Alan Goldstein, Steven Crabill

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