Buffett's Berkshire takes $4.48 billion stake in Phillips 66

Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:21am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote) disclosed a $4.48 billion stake in oil refiner Phillips 66 PSX.N, rebuilding a bet it had made in the energy industry before oil prices fell.

The 57.98 million-share, or roughly 10.8 percent, stake was revealed in a Friday night filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Phillips 66 shares closed Friday at $77.23.

Berkshire once held a large stake in the Houston-based company, but shed nearly two-thirds of it in February 2014 when it swapped $1.35 billion of shares for a chemicals business that it folded into its Lubrizol unit.

Crude oil prices have since fallen by more than half, though Phillips 66's share price has dropped by less than 1 percent.

Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss on Saturday said the Houston-based company does not comment on specific shareholders.Berkshire may have begun rebuilding its Phillips 66 stake in the second quarter, when it bought $3.09 billion of equities overall.

In an Aug. 14 SEC filing detailing its U.S. stock holdings, Berkshire did not mention Phillips 66, after having previously reported a 7.5 million-share stake as of March 31, but said it disclosed some information confidentially to the regulator.

The SEC sometimes lets Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire do this so Buffett can quietly buy a large amount of stock, without worrying about investors piggybacking on the famed investor's apparent stamp of approval.

He did this in 2013, when Berkshire amassed a $3.45 billion stake in Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote). Buffett sold that stake in last year's fourth quarter.   Continued...

 
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett participates in a newspaper throwing contest prior to the Berkshire annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska May 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking