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Continued: Delta to pay dividend and buy back shares as industry aims to be more investor friendly

  • Article by: JOSHUA FREED , Associated Press
  • Last update: May 8, 2013 - 3:39 PM

The carrier said its five-year plan calls for it to "achieve and maintain" adjusted debt of $7 billion. Delta ended 2012 with $3.4 billion in cash, which it uses to reduce the amount of adjusted debt it reports.

Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett was asked on Saturday whether airlines have become a good investment because of the consolidation in the industry. Buffett has sworn off airline investments ever since Berkshire Hathaway held preferred stock in U.S. Air in the 1990s. Berkshire eventually made money off the shares but not as much as Buffett expected.

Buffett said he continues to think airlines are a terrible business and a terrible investment with an insatiable appetite for capital.

"If it ever gets down to one airline and no regulations, it will be a great business," he said.

Delta Air Lines Inc. is based in Atlanta. Its shares were up 58 cents, or 3.2 percent, to close at $18.66 after rising as high as $18.84 earlier. The last time Delta stock was that high was February 2008.

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AP Business Writer Josh Funk in Omaha, Neb. contributed to this report.

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