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Buffett Reports Exxon Stake, Shares Rise

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) shares traded to the upside on Friday morning following the release of legendary investor Warren Buffett's quarterly update. U.S. regulators force large investors like Buffett to disclose their stock holdings every quarter for greater transparency. On Thursday, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) reported its 13-F filing for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Many small and large investor take great interest in these disclosures as they offer a glimpse into smart money's strategies for buying and selling stocks. On Thursday, Buffett disclosed a new $3.75 billion stake following the acquisition of 40.1 million shares in the largest publicly traded oil company. In an accompanying's amended Securities and Exchange Commission filling we see the majority of these shares, more than75%, were purchased in the three months leading up to June 30. Occasionally large investors like Buffett can arrange for delayed disclosures to avoid the market following his actions and pushing his purchase price higher.

Due to the size of Exxon, roughly $408 billion in market capitalization, Buffett's position represents just 0.9% of the company's shares. However, it is nonetheless a sign of strong support by one of the world's most savvy investors. For Buffett, the purchase is significant to say the least. Exxon shares will now represent roughly 4% of the $99.5 billion in the publicly disclosed stock portfolio of Berkshire Hathaway. Using current figures, this would make Berkshire Hathaway the sixth largest shareholder in the company.

Buffett has historically loved investing in well established, prominent and lagging names within the market. Exxon seems to fit his investing strategy well and will offer easy exposure to the global energy space for Berkshire. A couple weeks ago Exxon reported a mixed third quarter result. Profit in the third quarter dropped to $7.87 billion, $1.79 per share, from $9.57 billion, or $2.09 per share, in the third quarter of last year. While company profits may have declined, output rose for the first time in two years as a result of the company's new projects. Oil and natural gas output rose 1.5% to 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Weaker refining margins and throughput hurt the company's downstream results. The downstream segment recorded profit of $592 million in the third quarter in comparison to $2.6 billion in the third quarter of last year.
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