Warren Buffett Keeps Buying Occidental Petroleum Stock As OXY Stake Nears 25%

Warren Buffett is still buying Occidental Petroleum (OXY) stock, as Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) loaded up on shares this week, despite recent comments from Buffett he does not intend to take over the U.S. energy company.


Billionaire investor Warren Buffett purchased 3.46 million OXY shares for more than $200 million over May 16-18. On Thursday, Buffett picked up 1.2 million shares. Berkshire’s buy range in the past three days for Occidental Petroleum stock was 58.11-58.66.

With Berkshire Hathaway’s recent OXY purchases, the Buffett firm has now loaded up on Occidental Petroleum in six straight trading days, heading into Friday. Buffett now holds 217.3 million OXY shares worth around $12.7 billion, or a 24.4% stake in the company.

Occidental Petroleum stock advanced 1.4% to 59.04 Friday during premarket trade, with U.S. crude oil futures up more than 1%. On Thursday, OXY fell more than 1% to 58.25. The stock is down around 5.3% in May and has dropped 12% since it hit a recent high of 66.47 on April 3.

Warren Buffett Loves OXY

Through the latter half of 2022 Buffett loaded up on OXY, with the billionaire investor targeting shares in the $57-$61.5 price range.

Berkshire has substantially increased its stake in the international oil play over the past year, putting OXY among Buffett’s top holdings.

On May 9, Occidental Petroleum missed first-quarter earnings views as sagging oil and natural gas prices weighed down profits. OXY reported revenue slipping 13% to $7.26 billion in Q1 as earnings sank 48% to $1.09 per share. Pre-tax income from oil and natural gas sank 36% to $1.6 billion in Q1 due to lower worldwide crude oil and U.S. natural gas prices.

Cash flow from operations came in at $2.9 billion, falling 10% compared to Q1 2022. Meanwhile, free cash flow dropped 33% in Q1, totaling $1.69 billion. Occidental Petroleum repurchased $752 million worth of stock, on pace for its 2023 $3 billion repurchase program.

Ahead of earnings, Buffett said Berkshire had no plan to maneuver into a position of  control over OXY.

“We will not be making any offer for control of Occidental,” Buffett said during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting.

In August 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway approval to purchase up to 50% of available OXY stock.

“We love the shares we have,” Buffett told investors earlier this month. “We may or may not own more in the future but we certainly have warrants on a very substantial amount of stock.

“I’m glad we have them,” Buffett added.

Occidental Petroleum stock ranks fifth in the Oil & Gas-International Exploration and Production industry group. OXY has a Composite Rating of 30. Occidental Petroleum stock has a 34 Relative Strength Rating. OXY Shares have an EPS Rating of 25.

Please follow Kit Norton on Twitter @KitNorton for more coverage.


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