Warren Buffett's $9 Billion in Airline Holdings Is Why Everyone Thinks He Wants to Buy One

Warren Buffett, who once joked that capitalists should have shot down the Wright brothers' first plane and saved investors money, has made a course correction that's raised the idea he's considering the purchase of an airline.Thirty years after a troublesome investment in USAir, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has amassed stakes that make his holding company among the biggest shareholders in the four largest U.S. airlines. Last year, the famed investor said he wouldn't rule out owning a carrier, prompting talk about which one he'd grab."One of those airlines would certainly be affordable and do-able" if Berkshire wanted to buy, said David Kass, a professor of finance at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. "But then the question is, would Buffett really want to do that?"Berkshire has been acquiring shares of Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's most valuable carrier, and now has airline stakes worth more than $9 billion. The market values of those companies range from around $14 billion to $34 billion, and recent share declines could present some bargains to Buffett.  Continue reading...

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