Berkshire disclosed in a Wednesday night regulatory filing that it owns 136.4 million Occidental shares, including 18.1 million purchased between Monday and Wednesday.
Buffett’s company began disclosing this month that it was investing in Occidental common stock, on top of $10 billion in preferred stock it already owned. Berkshire has spent at least $6.4 billion on the common stock, regulatory filings show.
In morning trading, Occidental shares were up 8.5% at $57.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. They traded below $9 as recently as October 2020.
Occidental shares have benefited in part from rising oil prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a special operation.
Vicki Hollub, Occidental’s chief executive, said this month that supply chain troubles and labor shortages make it difficult for oil companies to ramp up production to meet demand.
Occidental is also trying to cut debt by more than half and boost payouts to shareholders, including through a higher dividend announced last month.
Berkshire bought its preferred stock in 2019 to help finance Occidental’s $35.7 billion purchase of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
The preferred stock throws off $800 million of annual dividends. Berkshire also has warrants to buy $5 billion of additional Occidental stock at $59.62 per share.
It isn’t clear whether Berkshire is funding its latest purchases with available cash or by selling other stocks it owns, which include Chevron Corp.
Berkshire ended 2021 with $146.7 billion of cash and equivalents. It was a net seller of stocks in 2021, and Buffett said in his Feb. 26 annual shareholder letter “we find little that excites us” in equity markets.
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