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