Boone Pickens Loves Twitter, but He’s Not Investing in It

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- T. Boone Pickens is quite a hoot. Just check out his Twitter (TWTRfeed.

The octogenarian oil magnate hasn't balked at technology adoption. Instead, he has jumped on the bandwagon. Since joining Twitter in 2009, Pickens has amassed a substantial audience. He has more than 131,000 followers and has sent out over 2,000 tweets.

Pickens touches on a wide range of topics on Twitter, his favorites being energy, oil, public policy and his alma mater, Oklahoma State. He cracks jokes, too -- including at his own expense. "Happy to hear about Harper Lee's new book," he tweeted recently. "I always like seeing someone older than me make news, especially when it's not an obituary." He also referred to his age in this tweet from March:

But while Boone Pickens certainly likes using Twitter, he's not investing in it -- at least not yet. Pickens and his hedge fund, BP Capital Management, are still heavily focused on energy and oil. Twenty-seven the top 30 holdings in the BP Capital Management category are in the basic materials and energy sector. The other three -- Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) -- are in finance and banking. 

And while he doesn't tweet about his energy holdings, Pickens did use the social media platform to tease a recent interview with Fox Business in which he predicted that oil prices will go up to $90 to $100 by the end of the year.

As of Dec. 31, funds at T. Boone Pickens' BP Capital Management are valued at $51 million. Here is a look at his top five holdings. And no, Twitter isn't among them.

1. Marathon Petroleum

Comprising 9.3% of the BP portfolio, Marathon Petroleum (MPC) is Boone Pickens' top holding as of Dec. 31. It closed the day Monday trading at $101.25, relatively close to its 52-week high of $108.32.

Marathon, like most oil refiners, has benefited from low oil prices. In November, company CEO Gary R. Heminger told Jim Cramer that "low oil is a good thing."

MPC has had a strong performance in 2015, and its price has climbed more than 12% year-to-date. In late April, the company announced a two-for-one stock split after having more than doubled its value since spinning off fromMarathon Oil (MRO), another Pickens holding, in 2011. "We believe the stock split will make our shares more affordable to a wider range of investors," Heminger said in a statement.

2. HollyFrontier


Boone Pickens' No. 2 holding, HollyFrontier (HFC) has a 9.2% allocation in the BP Capital portfolio. The Fortune 500 company, headquartered in Dallas, refines petroleum and distributes petroleum products.

Through market close Monday, HFC has climbed just under 4% in 2015 to $38.95. It is trading a bit closer to its 52-week low of $30.15 than it is to its high of $52.89. Its P/E ratio is 27.3, well below the 8.7 ratio of MPC.

HollyFrontier will announce its first-quarter results on Wednesday, May 6. According to Zacks Investment Research, analysts expect it to announce earnings of 76 cents per share. HFC has ground to gain from its previous earnings announcement, in which it posted 12 cents in per-share earnings, missing analysts' estimates by a wide margin.

3. Valero Energy


Valero Energy (VLO) comprises 8.9% of the BP Capital Management portfolio. With a market cap of $29.25 billion, it's the largest U.S. refiner and among Pickens' more sizable bets.

Valero posted first-quarter earnings results at the end of April, and though it didn't exactly report glowing numbers, it didn't completely bomb, either. Revenue fell to $21.3 billion from $33.7 billion a year earlier, a 37% drop. Profit, however, increased to $1.87 per share from $1.55.

At the company's annual shareholders meeting, CEO Joe Gorder said Valero is taking advantage of low oil prices to build out refining and logistical assets, though new acquisitions aren't planned. Valero's stock has performed very well in 2015, and its price has climbed more than 17% year-to-date.

4. Gulfport Energy

Boone Pickens' No. 4 pick, Gulfport Energy (GPOR), has an 8.5% allocation in the BP Capital portfolio. At market close Monday, it was trading at $49.03, meaning a 17% climb in 2015.

On April 15, the Oklahoma City-based company announced an agreement to acquire Paloma Partners III for approximately $300 million. The following day, it priced its 9.5 million common stock offering at $47.75 per share. It will report first-quarter financial results at market close on Tuesday, May 5.


5. Marathon Oil 


Marathon Oil (MRO) hasn't done quite as well as Marathon Petroleum in 2015, but with its stock price gaining nearly 10% year-to-date, its stock performance isn't too shabby, either. It is Boone Pickens' No. 5 stake, comprising 7.4% of his portfolio.

In April, Morgan Stanley analysts upgraded their rating of MRO from equal-weight to overweight and raised their price target from $25 to $37. As oil prices have rallied, so has Marathon Oil stock; on April 9, MRO advanced 3.08% in early afternoon trading thanks to an oil price rebound. It moved similarly on April 29.

See more of where Pickens is investing on Stockpickr.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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