FRI, MAR 10, 2023
Berkshire resumes OXY stock buys after five-month pause
For the first time since late September, Berkshire Hathaway has added shares to its Occidental Petroleum stake, but not very many of them.
In an SEC filing Tuesday, it disclosed the purchase of 5.8 million shares for a total of $354.5 million starting on Friday of last week and continuing into Monday and Tuesday of this week.
That's an average of $61.10 per share. The overall average of its disclosed purchases over the past year is around $53.55.
OXY's stock price has mostly been in the $60s and $70s since the September buys at an average of $58.89, hitting a high around $76 in early November.
It fell back into the $50s on February 21, going as low as $57.96 on the 22nd.
The most recent purchases were made at prices between $59.33 on the 3rd and $61.97 on the 6th.
The 3% increase in the number of shares Berkshire owns brings the total to almost 200.2 million, worth $12.0 billion at today's closing price of $59.86, and moves the stake's percentage of shares outstanding from 21.6% to 22.2%.
In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday, Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub said she spoke with Warren Buffett a few days earlier.
"We talk about technology. He has a very big curiosity about the technology of the industry, the subsurface. He likes to talk about technical things.
"He's very much aware of where our industry's been, where we're going.
"And I have a lot of fun talking to him about the nuances of what drives success in our industry," specifically, understanding the quality of the subsurface rock and figuring out how to drill efficiently.
Along with appreciating the technology, Buffett undoubtedly also appreciates the company's 38% increase in its quarterly dividend and a new $3 billion stock buyback program on top of $3 billion in repurchases last year.
At 18 cents per share each quarter, Berkshire will be collecting $144 million in dividends each year for its common shares.
It also receives $800 million each year for the $10 billion in preferred stock it got as part of its 2019 deal that helped finance Occidental's acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum.
Berkshire also received warrants that currently would allow it to buy almost 84 additional OXY common shares at $59.62 each.
Those warrants, and Berkshire's stock purchases over the past year, have prompted some speculation that Buffett might want to buy the entire company.
Last August, Berkshire received regulatory approval to buy up to half of the oil company.
At that time, University of Maryland finance professor David Kass was quoted by CNBC.com as saying, "I think it is likely that Buffett will buy the whole thing eventually."
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BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - Mar. 10, 2023
Berkshire's top holdings of disclosed publicly-traded U.S. stocks, and BYD, by market value, based on today's closing prices.
Holdings are as of December 31, 2022 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on February 14, 2023, except for:
The full list of holdings and current market values is available from CNBC.com's Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio Tracker.
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