Warren Buffett said Friday that the upcoming annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) - Get Report investment firm will be held without shareholders as the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt life on and off Wall Street.
The billionaire investor said the May 2 meeting, traditionally held in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, will instead be streamed by Yahoo and could include questions from selected journalists.
"I very much regret this action; for many decades the annual meeting has been a high point of the year for me and my partner, Charlie Munger," Buffett said in a statement. "It is now clear, however, that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community."
"We won’t ask this of our employees and we won’t expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a “hot spot” in the current pandemic," Buffett added. "Therefore, we will limit attendance to me, possibly Charlie, and several Berkshire employees who will deliver proxy votes."
Berkshire Hathaway shares were marked 2.57% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of 265,000 each. The stock has fallen 22.5% since the February 19 peak for the S&P 500, compared to a 26% decline for the broader benchmark.