FRI, MAY 19, 2023
Six straight days of buying as OXY dips below $60
Warren Buffett told shareholders earlier this month that Berkshire Hathaway is "not going to buy control" of Occidental Petroleum but "we love the shares we have."
Berkshire now has even more shares to love and could be adding more.
According to two filings, the company bought another 5.6 million shares over six straight trading days: Thursday of last week through yesterday (Thursday) this week.
In total, it paid $201 million to add nearly 3.5 million shares, which is an average price of $58.26 per share.
Berkshire now owns more than 217 million shares with a market value of almost $12.9 billion. That's 24.4% of Occidental's outstanding shares.
As has often been the case, the buying (indicated by the gray bands in the chart above), which has been sporadic since it began early last year, picked up again as OXY shares fell below $60 per share.
Today, OXY went as high as $60.23 and as low as $58.97 before closing at $59.13 for a 1.5% gain in the wake of Berkshire's disclosure of more purchases last night.
Since it owns more than 10% of Occidental and is thus considered an "insider," Berkshire is required by the SEC to tell investors when it makes changes in its holdings, but it has two business days to do so, so we won't know if the buying continued today until next Tuesday.
Berkshire has warrants that it received as part of its 2019 financing of Occidental's Anadarko Petroleum purchase to buy an additional 84 million shares for $59.62 each.
If they were all exercised now, Berkshire would have a stake of almost 34% in the oil giant.
Buffett, however, doesn't appear to be in any rush. At this month's meeting, he said, "[W]arrants last a long time, and I’m glad we have them."
One bank in, two banks out
Early in the week, Berkshire filed its Q1 13F form listing the publicly-traded U.S. stocks in its portfolio as of March 31.
It revealed a new 9.9 million share stake in Capital One Financial, which is currently valued at almost $972 million.
The four trading days after Berkshire filed its 13F late Monday afternoon account for 10 percentage points of COF's 13.4% rally for the week. The stock had dropped to the mid-$80's earlier this month as investors sold bank stocks following the high-profile failures of SVB, Signature, and, more recently, First Republic.
Buffett, however, is not all that enthusiastic about banks in general, as he made clear during the annual meeting when he said the industry has changed so much since the 2008 crisis that "we're very cautious ... about ownership of banks."
And during the first three months of the year, Berkshire completely eliminated its positions in two bank stocks that it had been reducing in recent quarters: Bank of New York Mellon and U.S. Bancorp.
Berkshire consolidates portfolio filings
For many years, Berkshire Hathaway has listed securities owned by its General Re subsidiary, which it purchased in 1998, in a 13F form filed by a Gen Re unit called New England Asset Management.
Our Berkshire Portfolio Tracker has been including these separately listed shares since early 2000.
On Monday, Berkshire announced that starting with that day's report, it would move those shares of Apple, Bank of America, Chevron, Citigroup, Diageo, HP, and Markel from the NEAM filing to the Berkshire filing.
So, what initially appeared to some to be increases for Berkshire's Apple and BofA stakes were actually just a rearrangement.
Here's a list of all the quarter's changes, taking that rearrangement into account.
The changes for Occidental and Chevron had been previously disclosed.
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BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - May 19, 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 March 31, 2023 as reported in Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F filing on May 15, 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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