OXY - Occidental Petroleum Corporation

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
15.36
-0.20 (-1.29%)
At close: 4:02PM EDT

15.85 +0.49 (3.19%)
After hours: 8:00PM EDT

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Previous Close15.56
Open14.20
Bid16.02 x 1300
Ask15.80 x 900
Day's Range14.27 - 18.27
52 Week Range9.00 - 67.57
Volume109,286,896
Avg. Volume28,711,138
Market Cap13.751B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.75
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-1.22
Earnings DateMay 03, 2020 - May 07, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield0.44 (2.83%)
Ex-Dividend DateMar. 08, 2020
1y Target Est15.48
  • Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) closed at $15.35, marking a -1.33% move from the previous day.

  • Bloomberg

    Federal Reserve’s Fallen Angel Bond Buying Won’t Catch Them All

    (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve is throwing a lifeline to some companies that have suddenly dropped into risky junk debt after expanding its corporate bond-buying program to include fallen angels. But it won’t catch every one.The central bank will now buy debt of companies that were investment-grade rated as of March 22, and subsequently downgraded to no lower than BB-, or three levels into high-yield, according to a statement Thursday. That date, which determines whether bonds are eligible for purchase, heralds winners and losers among the recent crop of issuers that have lost their high-grade standing.A record $92.8 billion of bonds fell into the Bloomberg Barclays U.S High-Yield Index in March. About $70 billion of that was from Ford Motor Co. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. Ford and Macy’s Inc. both stand to benefit given the timing of their downgrades. The automaker’s bonds rallied more than 10 cents after the bazooka was announced, according to Trace pricing data.“The Fed, the Treasury and Congress are providing unprecedented support to the credit markets,” said Bill Zox, chief investment officer for fixed income at Diamond Hill Capital Management. “There will still be credit defaults and losses but the benefits will extend to borrowers even if they aren’t yet under the umbrella of these programs.”Occidental looks set to miss out under current provisions. The company, which has $35 billion of index-eligible debt outstanding, fell into junk territory on March 20 with a cut to BB+ by Fitch Ratings following an earlier action by Moody’s Investors Service.Its bonds still rallied by more than 10 cents, however, amid a broad-based rally in junk bonds and after major oil producers agreed to slash output. The company also said it’s seeking financial aid from the U.S. government for the nation’s oil industry.Read more: Occidental seeking federal lifeline for U.S. oil industry“With the understanding that the Fed can change provisions as it sees fit, as currently disclosed, they wouldn’t qualify,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Noel Hebert, of Occidental. “You have a lot of inflows into the asset class, oil is climbing and they were pretty cheap in spread terms.”Strategists say the recent wave of fallen angel debt is just the beginning. Several, including those at JPMorgan Chase & Co., anticipate the total will exceed $200 billion this year. S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s are downgrading U.S. companies at the fastest pace in more than a decade.Eligible bonds for the relief program need to have a remaining maturity of five years or less. In addition, the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility may also buy U.S.-listed ETFs that buy U.S. corporate bonds and the Fed’s Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility would buy some CLO tranches.“Central banks will continue to use unprecedented tools to intervene in capital markets,” said Christian Hoffmann, a portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management. “Until something breaks and their powers are reconsidered.”The Fed’s widening net may also spur more high-yield issuance, Diamond Hill’s Zox said, just as it did with investment-grade rated debt. The junk-bond market opened up last week, ending a near monthlong drought, with investors piling billions of dollars of cash into offerings for companies ravaged by the coronavirus, including cruise line operator Carnival Corp.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Occidental Seeking Federal Lifeline For U.S. Oil Industry
    Bloomberg

    Occidental Seeking Federal Lifeline For U.S. Oil Industry

    (Bloomberg) -- Occidental Petroleum Corp. wants U.S. government financial aid for the oil industry even as the biggest producer of Permian Basin crude urges Texas regulators not to interfere with market forces.In a sign of how important the appeal is to Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub, employees are being urged to send a pre-written wish list to Congress members. Among other things, the company wants the government to “provide liquidity to the energy industry through this period of unprecedented demand destruction and unsustainable pricing until normal economic conditions return.”The letter, linked in an internal email dated April 7 and seen by Bloomberg News, also encourages the Trump administration to negotiate with Saudi Arabia and end the kingdom’s price war with Russia. Lawmakers are asked to advocate for fair access for U.S. crude to Asian markets and to support buying oil for the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.A representative for Occidental declined to comment.See also: Fracking Decline May Be Worst Ever Because There’s Too Much OilThe email was sent the same day that Occidental appealed to the Texas Railroad Commission to reject mandated production cuts. Occidental said output caps, which have been strongly supported by some of the company’s smaller Permian rivals, would be “extremely short-sighted” and would interfere with contractual obligations.‘Resolve Itself’“It is Occidental’s position that the surge in the supply of oil coupled with the decline in oil demand will resolve itself without state regulatory interference,” the company told the Railroad Commission, the state’s primary oil regulator.The commission is set to hold a meeting next week to consider what would be the first production curtailments in almost half a century.Occidental’s stock has been hit especially hard in the wake of crude’s historic meltdown as the coronavirus outbreak crushes demand and Saudi Arabia floods crude markets as part of a market-share battle with Russia.Hollub has faced criticism over her decision last year to amass debt in order to beat Chevron Corp. in a bidding war for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Occidental has seen its bonds fall to junk and has recently replaced its chief financial officer.She joined other oil executives in a meeting last week with President Donald Trump. Prior to the gathering, there had been some expectation that Trump could bolster the chances of a deal between OPEC and its allies by committing the U.S. to some sort of supply curtailments. But the meeting ended without any public declaration of a plan to cut domestic output, with Trump saying it’s a free market and up to Saudi Arabia and Russia to solve their dispute.“This letter lists the steps our government needs to take immediately,” Hollub said in the email to employees. “Now more than ever, we all need to inform our elected officials that inaction could result in long-lasting harm to the U.S. economy.”(Updates with Railroad Commission letter in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GlobeNewswire

    SHAREHOLDER ALERT BY FORMER LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL: KSF REMINDS HPQ, JELD, OXY, WWE INVESTORS of Lead Plaintiff Deadline in Class Action Lawsuits

    NEW ORLEANS, April 08, 2020 -- Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC (“KSF”) and KSF partner, former Attorney General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., remind investors of pending.

  • Anadarko Deadline Alert: Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Encourages Investors Who Suffered Losses Exceeding $100,000 In Anadarko Petroleum Corporation To Contact The Firm
    Newsfile

    Anadarko Deadline Alert: Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Encourages Investors Who Suffered Losses Exceeding $100,000 In Anadarko Petroleum Corporation To Contact The Firm

    New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - April 8, 2020) -  Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm, reminds investors in (NYSE: APC) Anadarko Petroleum Corporation ("Anadarko" or the "Company") of the April 20, 2020 deadline to seek the role of lead plaintiff in a federal securities class action that has been filed against the Company. The Company is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of  (NYSE: OXY) Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Faruqi & Faruqi ...

  • Shale Cutbacks to Fall on Weakest Drillers as Glut Drowns Market
    Bloomberg

    Shale Cutbacks to Fall on Weakest Drillers as Glut Drowns Market

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. shale drillers are engaged in a bitter test of wills as sinking oil prices force the weakest operators to retreat just as OPEC urges the world’s biggest source of crude to help rescue a market roiled by the coronavirus pandemic.With American production expected to decline this year for the first time since 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear any reductions in domestic output will fall on the companies that can least afford it. The result is likely to be a sector increasingly dominated by international behemoths that have the ability to endure the downturn and ramp back up once prices recover.“The pain is definitely going to be felt by smaller and medium players in second-tier acreage,” said Raoul LeBlanc, a Houston-based analyst at IHS Markit Ltd. “If you ramped it up in the last couple of years and you grew fast, you now have a hangover.”READ: U.S. Slashes 2020 Oil-Output Forecast Ahead of OPEC+ MeetingU.S.-focused oil producers have slashed more than $27 billion from drilling budgets this year in an unprecedented contraction in the sector responsible for the lion’s share of global supply growth over the past decade. But for the largest companies, such as Exxon Mobil Corp., the rout is only prompting a slowdown in growth rather than outright reductions.Exxon took an ax to its Permian Basin drilling budget on Tuesday, saying that the shale region would absorb the largest share of $10 billion in global cuts this year. Even so, production is expected to increase through the end of 2021.Chevron Corp. also probably will boost output this year, despite a 20% reduction in its forecast.Independent shale specialists like EOG Resources Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Diamondback Energy Inc. are also pledging to keep production flat or slightly higher this year, despite cutting their budgets by at least a third. Marathon Oil Corp. announced a 46% spending cut on Wednesday without signaling whether output will be impacted.Those drillers are protected by financial hedges designed to blunt the worst excesses of the price collapse, which saw some North American crudes trading for less than $10 a barrel last month.The unwillingness of some of the marquee names in shale to curb output flies in the face of growing calls by Saudi Arabia and other major producers for a new era of supply restraint to arrest the freefall in prices. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies are scheduled to conduct an emergency session later this week.Momentum ReversalStill, there’s a catch, according to Dane Gregoris, a director at RS Energy Group. “If you’re growing through 2019 and declining through 2020, you can still average the same year over year,” he said. “However, the momentum has completely reversed.”The largest players represent only about 20% of overall U.S. shale production and so only provide a narrow snapshot of the overall market, according to IHS. There are more than 6,000 producers in the Permian Basin alone, many heavily-indebted private players whose business model was to lease exploration rights, drill a few wells and then flip whatever they struck to the highest bidder.Occidental Petroleum Corp., burdened by debt incurred by last year’s $37 billion takeover of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is one major shale player reducing overall production this year. Harold Hamm’s Continental Resources Inc. indicated it will reduce production by about 30%.Texland WellsAt the other end of the scale, Texland Petroleum LP, a small operator in business since 1973, expects all of its wells to be completely shut by May 1 as buyers cancel orders in response to dwindling demand.The long-term implications could be vast. Shale wells are gushers for the first three months but after that, output plummets so that by the end of the first year it’s down about 60%. That’s 10 times the decline rate of conventional wells. As U.S. production has become more weighted toward shale, the country’s overall decline rate has accelerated, according to IHS.In the 2014-2016 crash, the industry borrowed about $40 billion to survive, according to IHS. That’s not available now, LeBlanc said. “The low price translates almost immediately to taking off capital spending and letting massive decline rates start to set in.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ovintiv Slashes Capex Twice in a Month, Betters Oil Hedges
    Zacks

    Ovintiv Slashes Capex Twice in a Month, Betters Oil Hedges

    Ovintiv (OVV) ensures strong cash-flow generation by streamlining oil hedges.

  • GlobeNewswire

    FILING DEADLINE--Kuznicki Law PLLC Announces Class Actions on Behalf of Shareholders of HPQ, JELD, OXY and SIX

    CEDARHURST, N.Y., April 07, 2020 -- The securities litigation law firm of Kuznicki Law PLLC issues this alert to shareholders of the following publicly traded companies. Six.

  • Historic Oil Slump Puts Multibillion-Dollar Deals in Balance
    Bloomberg

    Historic Oil Slump Puts Multibillion-Dollar Deals in Balance

    (Bloomberg) -- About $25 billion of oil and gas deals are hanging in the balance following crude’s historic collapse, potentially doing further harm to the finances of companies already battered by the slump.Companies including Occidental Petroleum Corp., BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are relying on asset sales started last year to bolster their finances. But many deals look less attractive now with oil near $30 a barrel and a bleak outlook for the global economy, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.As oil companies around the world scramble to protect their finances by boosting credit lines, slashing spending and suspending buybacks, those leaning too heavily on asset sales may need to find other measures.“I think they’re going to be extremely difficult to execute in the near term,” said Greig Aitken, director of M&A research at WoodMac. “It’s borderline impossible for the next few months.”Valuations have been hit hard by the slump. Infections and deaths from the coronavirus pandemic are still climbing, and large parts of the world are likely heading toward a recession. While OPEC and other major producers are planning talks this week to help steady the market, immense output cuts would be required to compensate for a demand destruction that some traders estimate has risen to as high as 35 million barrels a day.Failed asset sales would only make matters worse for the companies, Aitken said. Oil majors have an additional $27 billion of planned disposals beyond what has been announced.Occidental may have the most to lose from a freeze in the market. The U.S. shale producer has a pile of debt due over the next two years and is depending on asset sales to pay it.A key pillar of its purchase of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year was selling off its African assets to Total SA for $8.8 billion. But the disposal of operations in Ghana and Algeria, valued at almost $5 billion, is yet to be signed off.Total can walk away from both transactions should Algeria not give approval by Sept. 30, according to Morgan Stanley. The government there has suggested it may seek to preempt the purchase of the asset, adding further uncertainty to an already stressed market. Ghana meanwhile is claiming $500 million in taxes, complicating the deal.Total declined to comment on the status of the agreements. The French major is pushing ahead with its own $5 billion divestment plan, and on Tuesday closed the sale of more than $400 million of assets in Brunei and West Africa.Occidental referred Bloomberg to remarks from Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub in February that there’s “increased risk” associated with the Algeria and Ghana sales. But she pledged to reach her target of raising $15 billion from selling assets, with or without the Africa deals.Wyoming SaleOccidental also wanted to sell land in Wyoming, which state authorities had expressed interest in buying. However, the outbreak of the virus may complicate the state’s efforts to get that deal done, according to Devin McDermott, a New York-based analyst at Morgan Stanley.“There are a lot more pressing issues that every state including Wyoming has to focus on right now,” he said.Even so, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said he will “continue to find ways to take steps to explore this opportunity” despite the coronavirus and legislative hurdles in a letter dated March 26. Hollub said the bidding was a “competitive process,” indicating the interest of other bidders.BP to ExxonOthers oil companies including BP, Exxon and smaller players in the North Sea have also been looking to sell.In early February, BP said it would boost its divestment program from $10 billion to $15 billion by the middle of next year. It said last week it’s still on track to hit that target. The company had agreed more than $9 billion of deals by the end of last year, about $5.6 billion of which will come from the pending sale of its Alaskan business to Hilcorp Energy Co.Some deal completions may be revised, “particularly while volatile market conditions persist,” BP said last week, adding that it expects the Hilcorp transaction to go through. Hilcorp didn’t respond to a request for comment.Exxon, already paying its dividend with borrowed money, has been relying on asset sales to bolster its financial position as it attempts to build a series of mega-projects in one of the worst oil markets in decades. Announcing a pullback in its ambitions on Tuesday, the company said it would reduce spending this year by 30% to $23 billion. Exxon is targeting about $10 billion of disposals by the end of next year with assets in the Gulf of Mexico, Azerbaijan and Malaysia on offer. But Senior Vice President Neil Chapman sought to temper expectations for successful sales at Exxon’s analyst day in March.“We don’t expect success on every asset that we put in the market,” he said. “If the value is not there, we’re not going to transact.”Bleak OutlookThe grim macroeconomic outlook is making it “doubly important” that any announced deals close, WoodMac’s Aitken said. But that’s difficult to do since potential buyers are focusing on existing portfolios and looking to conserve cash rather than seeking new opportunities.“Asset sales are extremely challenging right now,” said Morgan Stanley’s McDermott. “In the low oil-price environment we’re in right now, the universe of buyers just dries up.”(Updates with Total’s asset sales in Brunei in 10th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GlobeNewswire

    SHAREHOLDER ALERT: CLAIMSFILER REMINDS HPQ, JELD, OXY, SIX INVESTORS of Lead Plaintiff Deadline in Class Action Lawsuits

    NEW ORLEANS, April 06, 2020 -- ClaimsFiler, a FREE shareholder information service, reminds investors of pending deadlines in the following securities class action lawsuits:.

  • OPEC Can’t Kill U.S. Shale
    Oilprice.com

    OPEC Can’t Kill U.S. Shale

    Saudi Arabia’s effort to crush US shale producers through ultra-low oil prices can only work if prices remain low, but once prices bounce back above $50, so will US shale production

  • Will This Be The Slowest Year Ever For Oil & Gas Mergers?
    Oilprice.com

    Will This Be The Slowest Year Ever For Oil & Gas Mergers?

    Last year’s oil and gas merger mania seems to have stopped in its tracks as crashing oil prices and the coronavirus crisis weighs on the industry

  • Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) closed at $13, marking a +1.8% move from the previous day.

  • US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of payrolls, business activity data
    Reuters

    US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of payrolls, business activity data

    With global infections topping 1 million and more U.S. states implementing stay-at-home orders, economists have slashed their forecasts for U.S. real GDP. Morgan Stanley now expects U.S. real GDP to plunge 38% in the second quarter. At 07:04 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis were down 203 points, or 0.95%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 21.25 points, or 0.84% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 64.25 points, or 0.84%.

  • Oil could set new all-time low below $10, says analyst who called collapse
    Yahoo Finance

    Oil could set new all-time low below $10, says analyst who called collapse

    Oil's collapse has become more of a demand issue, making a potential deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia less impactful, says oil analyst and editor of The Schork Report Stephen Schork.

  • How Did Oxy’s Bosses Get Paid a Bonus?
    Bloomberg

    How Did Oxy’s Bosses Get Paid a Bonus?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are a couple of ways of summarizing what’s happened with Occidental Petroleum Corp. since CEO Vicki Hollub went all-in on buying Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year. One would be that the deal trashed Oxy’s relationship with shareholders and saddled it with too much debt, leading to chronic underperformance and, when disaster struck, a massive dividend cut. An alternative take might be:Ms. Hollub enhanced the value of Occidental’s portfolio of assets through the Anadarko acquisition, which strengthened Occidental’s long-term value proposition.That second one comes from Oxy’s preliminary proxy statement, filed this week.Here’s a quick sanity check by way of a chart. See which of the two assessments most closely aligns with this set of squiggles:One detects some uneasiness on Oxy’s part. It took the trouble to lay out “realizable” pay for executives in its proxy; the idea being that the actual value of stock-based awards plummeted with Oxy’s price. Hence, while Hollub’s headline total compensation for 2019 clocks in at almost $16 million, the company calculates its value as of March 24 was a mere $4.4 million. Salaries for 2020 have been slashed (although these typically account for only 10-15% of total compensation). Plus, the proxy discloses that Oscar Brown, the head of strategy who played a leading role in the Anadarko deal, is no longer with the company.Clearly, Hollub’s pay package isn’t worth what it was a couple of months ago. On the other hand, compared with a shareholder who just had most of their dividend taken away, the CEO is still being paid to wait. After all, the board presumably expects Hollub to preside over some sort of recovery in the share price (and, thereby, connected stock-based awards).Moreover, while realizable pay may now be worth a fraction of what it was when the board met in February, the more pertinent question is why was it worth so much in February? It was clear by then, even before the corona-crash, that Oxy’s gamble had inflicted big losses on shareholders and forced it to cut spending and growth targets. Total shareholder return in 2019 was negative 28% — worse than the sector, the market and the year before. Yet Hollub’s headline compensation rose by 13%.Then there are bonuses, typically adjusted to some percentage of a target level based on company performance. Oxy’s percentage for 2019: 175%. As is usual with these things, that number derives from a Rube Goldberg-esque set of performance metrics and weightings. In this case, it was complicated further by being split between pre- and post-acquisition objectives.Astoundingly, the executives were deemed to have exceeded expectations even more on the latter bit. Defined in exceedingly narrow terms, I suppose one could have argued back in February that, judged on things like realizing synergies or whatnot, the executives were hitting their marks. But context is everything, and the context here is a debacle. So perhaps stuff like realizing synergies should have been redefined as the bare minimum rather than bonus-worthy. Again, one detects a certain uneasy recognition of the dissonance here with the majority of Hollub’s bonus being paid in restricted stock units rather than cash.Oxy isn’t alone in setting executive compensation at odds with investors’ experience (see this). The same day it filed its proxy, Whiting Petroleum Corp. filed for chapter 11. While this Bakken-basin fracker cited Covid-19 and the Saudi-Russian oil price war, it already had an underlying (and familiar) condition of rising leverage and weak or negative free cash flow. Announcing its bankruptcy, the company also disclosed bonuses for its top executives, approved just days before, worth $14.6 million. That is actually two-thirds higher than Whiting’s cash balance at the end of December.Doug Terreson, an analyst at Evercore ISI who has been beating the drum on this misalignment for years, calculates that 15 CEOs of the integrated oil and exploration and production companies he covers were paid more than $2 billion in aggregate over the past decade. In exchange, shareholders netted a total return of zero, while the S&P 500 generated a positive total return of more than 250%. “This pay for performance disconnect has not gone unnoticed by the buy-side and is part of the reason why investors avoid energy stocks. The deck is stacked against them,” he writes.Still, the sheer drama of Oxy’s past year marks it out. Consider that the same filing lauding Oxy’s “enhanced” value after swallowing Anadarko also details the company’s recent agreement with one Carl Icahn under the award-worthy euphemism of “Board Refreshment.” The dissonance is deafening.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Diamondback, Marathon, Occidental, Chevron and Royal Dutch
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Diamondback, Marathon, Occidental, Chevron and Royal Dutch

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Diamondback, Marathon, Occidental, Chevron and Royal Dutch

  • Warren Buffett Can Hunt Elephants From Home
    Bloomberg

    Warren Buffett Can Hunt Elephants From Home

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- This is a market for Warren Buffett, and U.S. investors sure could use some of his positive vibes right now. So where is America’s biggest booster and hungriest dealmaker?Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has been noticeably quiet since an explosion in coronavirus cases sent much of the populace into self-isolation and the country hurtling toward a recession. New York City, the capital of finance, is the new epicenter of the outbreak. But even 1,200 miles west in Buffett’s more airy state of Nebraska, the number of known infected residents is approaching 200, showing just how widespread it’s become.Buffett’s age — he’ll turn 90 in August — puts him among those most at risk of severe complications from the virus. (He was also treated for early-stage prostate cancer in 2012.) It may be that he’s avoiding in-person interviews for safety reasons, as he should. Nobody wants to be the one who gave the world’s most celebrated businessman and philanthropist Covid-19 and set in motion the most momentous CEO transition of our time.  Still, with so much panic and prognosticating about the damage the pandemic might inflict on the economy, investors could use Buffett’s habitual reminder of his unwavering belief in American prosperity. In 2008, amid the last recession, and again in 2010, Buffett signed off both his annual letters to shareholders saying that he and Charlie Munger — his longtime business partner and the 96-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire — were “lucky beyond our dreams” in part for being born in the U.S.Berkshire’s own investments are like a cross-section of the U.S. economy, with large stakes in airlines, banks, grocery stores and makers of consumer goods — even tech giants Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. About $70 billion of value has been erased from its stock portfolio since mid-February (though we don’t yet know what Buffett bought and sold during the first quarter). The conglomerate also has outright ownership of one of the nation’s most expansive freight railway systems and a giant utility network, as well as businesses that sell everything from furniture and modular homes, to airplane-engine parts and various types of insurance. Shares of Berkshire itself are down 18%, headed for their worst year — like many other stocks — since 2008. “If you stick around long enough you’ll see everything in markets, and it may have taken me to 89 years of age to throw this one into the experience,” a still chipper Buffett said on Yahoo Finance during his last televised interview. That was March 10, before the virus situation became so dire that states stretching from California to Massachusetts began issuing stay-at-home orders to buy time for hospitals running out of ventilators and other crucial equipment.Three days later, Buffett announced he was canceling the festivities associated with Berkshire’s annual meeting to be held in Omaha in May. No investors are allowed to attend (they’ll have to stream it online). That means no shopping for See’s Candies, no posing with Buffett cardboard cut-outs, no running in the Brooks 5K and no sightings of the man himself for the tens of thousands of fans who show up each year wondering if it’s their last chance to see him up close.Buffett really has seen it all, though, which for him diminishes the frightful nature of events that to the rest of us seem so unprecedented in their gravity. When the Black Monday crash hit in October 1987, Buffett was already 57 years old. During World War II, when the news headlines couldn’t have been worse, he bought his first shares of stock as a kid — dumping them only four months later. At the 2018 Berkshire shareholder meeting, Buffett recounted the lesson he learned from that. Here’s a condensed version:Imagine yourself back on March 11, 1942. … I’d like you to imagine that at that time you had invested $10,000 … to hold a piece of American business and never look at another stock quote. … You’d have $51 million [now] and you wouldn't have had to do anything. … All you had to do was figure that America was going to do well over time, that we would overcome the current difficulties. … It’s just remarkable to me that we have operated in this country with the greatest tailwind at our back.In some ways, this is the market he’s been waiting for — a chance to finally scoop up durable, if temporarily beaten down, businesses on the cheap and put Berkshire’s $128 billion pile of cash to work. Likewise, private equity firms will be on the prowl, too. Financial buyers, including Berkshire, are already eyeing vulnerable targets in the travel, lodging and entertainment industries, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. Here are others that fit the mold of a Berkshire takeover target, based on criteria Buffett has spelled out in the past: In recent years there were too many competing acquirers willing to pay prices Buffett thought were absurd. Now, many are looking to conserve capital; others receiving assistance from the federal stimulus package may be more limited in their financial maneuvers. So where President Donald Trump opened a window to dealmaking with this more lax antitrust regulation, the virus has shut the door. Merger-and-acquisition activity is already down 24% globally this year, while in the U.S. it’s retreated 31%. The S&P 500 index now has a price-to-earnings ratio of 17, compared with more than 22 in February.“It would be more fun if the phone would ring,” Buffett said in 2017 at the start of his M&A dry spell. It's sure to be ringing now as large corporations seek cash and the glow of the Buffett halo. Banks are quietly discouraging investment-grade borrowers from tapping their existing credit lines, according to a Bloomberg News report Monday. Berkshire played the role of a bank last year, providing $10 billion of financing to Occidental Petroleum Corp. in return for high-yielding preferred stock. As my colleague Liam Denning has noted, even though the oil crash recently forced Oxy to slash its regular dividend, Berkshire still receives its fat check.Though it may be no mystery how Buffett views America’s ability to get through this latest crisis, it’s anyone’s guess where he’ll deploy his billions in it. Whatever the case, he should do his elephant hunting from home. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Occidental, Diamondback, Marathon, Schlumberger and Transocean
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Occidental, Diamondback, Marathon, Schlumberger and Transocean

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Occidental, Diamondback, Marathon, Schlumberger and Transocean