FRI, MAY 26, 2023
Occidental Petroleum's stock price in recent days has mostly stayed below the $60 level that has sometimes prompted Berkshire Hathaway to buy more shares, but the company hasn't reported any new purchases after the six-day streak that ended on Thursday last week.
Berkshire has two business days to disclose its moves, so we won't know until later tonight or next week if Berkshire added to its position in the oil giant in the second half of this week.
At today's closing price of $58.94, Berkshire's 217.3 million share stake is valued at $12.8 billion. It owns 24.4% of Occidental's outstanding shares.
In addition, 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.
Since exercising those options would prompt Occidental to issue new stock, increasing the number of its outstanding shares, Berkshire's stake would be just under 31% if that happened, not 34% as I mistakenly calculated in last week's newsletter.
Buffett's moves in Asia draw attention
Pres. Biden takes the stage at a Taiwan Semiconductor plant in Phoenix, Dec. 6, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Meanwhile, in a Washington Post opinion piece, the National Review's Jim Geraghty worries that Buffett's sale of Berkshire's TSCM stake "might make the world a tiny bit more dangerous" because "if Buffett isn’t sure Taiwan is a safe place to invest anymore, then it’s a sign that China’s intimidation is already working."
"If China can scare foreign investors away," he writes, "it will gradually but steadily erode Taiwan’s ability to pay for what it needs to deter an invasion."
Charge dropped in Berkshire annual meeting arrest
Omaha prosecutors have dropped a criminal trespassing charge against the leader of a conservative group who was arrested at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting earlier this month.
That's according to a statement this week by the National Legal and Policy Center in which Chairman and CEO Peter Flaherty says he "never should have been arrested" and that Berkshire's "silencing of me in an ominous precedent for the right of shareholders in public companies. It cannot be allowed to stand."
As he was speaking in favor of his shareholder proposal to separate Berkshire's chairman and CEO roles, Flaherty insinuated that Bill Gates was associated with Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking of young women.
At that point, his microphone was turned off and he was escorted out of the meeting by an Omaha police officer for allegedly refusing a request to leave.
Buffett could be heard saying Flaherty had "crossed a boundary" with a personal attack.
BUFFETT AROUND THE INTERNET
Some links may require a subscription
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
There’s no “degree of difficulty” factor in investing (1998)
Warren Buffett explains why he prefers to stay away from more difficult investments.
BERKSHIRE'S TOP U.S. STOCK HOLDINGS - May 26, 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.
Please send any questions or comments about the newsletter to me at email@example.com. (Sorry, but we don't forward questions or comments to Buffett himself.)
If you aren't already subscribed to this newsletter, you can sign up here.
Also, Buffett's annual letters to shareholders are highly-recommended reading. There are collected here on Berkshire's website.
-- Alex Crippen, Editor, Warren Buffett Watch
© 2023 CNBC LLC. All rights reserved. A property of NBCUniversal.
900 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes and Market Data and Analysis.
Data also provided by THOMSON REUTERS