• The billionaire investor's conglomerate spent about $45 million on nearly 1 million of the airline's shares.
  • Buffett famously said to "be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."
  • Investors "should want the stock market to go down they should want to buy at a lower price," he said last week.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

Warren Buffett famously advises investors to "be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful." The billionaire investor's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate showcased that approach last week: It boosted its stake in Delta Air Lines during the massive market selloff fueled by coronavirus fears.

Berkshire deployed about $45 million to buy nearly 980,000 shares in the airline last Thursday, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing . The purchases raised its total holding to about 71.9 million shares, giving it an 11.2% stake in the company.

Buffett and his team probably jumped at the chance to buy Delta shares at a discount. They paid an average of $46.40 per share about 20% below Delta's stock price a week earlier.

"Who wouldn't rather buy at a lower price than a higher price?" Buffett asked in a CNBC interview last week . Investors "should want the stock market to go down they should want to buy at a lower price," he added.

While Berkshire owns stakes in the other major US airlines American, United, and Southwest it has an especially good reason to be bullish on Delta. Unlike its rivals, Delta doesn't own any Boeing 737 Max planes , meaning it avoided having to cancel thousands of flights and didn't lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars after the model was grounded.

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