Jeff Bezos Proves His Brilliance Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Jeff Bezos sold billions worth of Amazon stock just before the market went belly-up in February. His company is in prime position to capitalize on the coronavirus pandemic. | Image: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

  • As other billionaires bled money, Jeff Bezos is up over $2 billion this year.
  • The Amazon CEO sold stock in early February just before the crash. He saved hundreds of millions in paper losses in the process.
  • Compared to other big-tech stocks, Amazon’s market losses are minimal.

Jeff Bezos was made for times like these. His online commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is set to be one of the gainers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, Bezos is the only top-ten billionaire who has added to his net worth as others lost billions.

In early February, he sold Amazon stock worth $3.4 billion before the markets crashed. He saved around $317 million in paper losses in the process, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Bezos sold Amazon stock just before it hit all-time high

When Bezos sold his batch of AMZN shares in early February, the  stock was priced above $2,000. It would eventually peak a week later at $2,185. Currently, the stock is trading just above $1,900.

Year-to-date, Amazon is still up as other big-tech stocks fell. | Source: TradingView

While there’s no evidence to suggest Bezos acted on insider information, his transaction came at a time when the stock market was said to be overvalued. He sold his shares just after the United States recorded its first confirmed coronavirus infection – in Bezos’ home state of Washington, no less.

Source: Twitter

Bezos is the only person worth over $100 billion

Following the market crash triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Bezos is now the sole billionaire worth over $100 billion. He leads Bill Gates with a difference of over $27 billion.

The difference in net worth between the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, and the second richest, Bill Gates, is $27 billion. | Source: Bloomberg

Besides selling a substantial amount of his Amazon stock in February, Bezos donated nearly $5 million worth of AMZN shares at current prices.

Jeff Bezos donated around $5 million worth of Amazon stock a few weeks ago. | Source: SEC

How is Bezos still in the green? One word: Amazon

Year-to-date, the Amazon CEO’s net worth is up by over $2 billion. As stocks around the world crashed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMZN has fared relatively well. When compared to other FAANG stocks, with the exception of Netflix, the differences are stark.

Since mid-February, Amazon is down by around 11%. The other FAANG stocks have fallen by much larger amounts.

Facebook, for instance, is down by around 30% since it recorded its 2020 high.

Google-parent Amazon is down 28% since its Feb. 19 high. Apple, on the other hand, is down around 28% since its yearly peak

Online retailers stand to benefit from the social-distancing measures currently being enforced in many parts of the world. In the case of Amazon, it might actually be a boon.

Amazon is actually hiring an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers at a time when other firms are laying off staff. Job losses for April are forecast to reach up to 5 million.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

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