Jeff Bezos Proves His Brilliance Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Jeff Bezos sold a substantial chunk of Amazon stock in February just before the market crash. He saved hundreds of millions in the process.

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.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:46 PM

Mark Emem: I cover business and the stock market for CCN. Currently based out of Nairobi, Kenya. Email | Twitter |