LON­DON:

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Berk­shire Hath­away Inc, the con­glom­er­ate run by War­ren Buf­fett, has re­sumed its pur­chases of Phillips 66 stock, and spent roughly $832 mil­lion in Jan­uary to boost its stake even as the oil re­finer's profit mar­gins nar­rowed. Ac­cord­ing to a reg­u­la­tory fil­ing on Fri­day night, Berk­shire paid about $198 mil­lion this week for 2.54 mil­lion Phillips 66 shares, its first pur­chases of the stock since Jan. 14. For all of Jan­uary, Berk­shire bought 10.81 mil­lion shares, giv­ing it 72.29 mil­lion over­all, or a roughly 13.7 per­cent stake in Hous­ton-based Phillips 66. Those shares were worth $5.79 bil­lion as of Fri­day's mar­ket close at $80.15. Phillips 66 is Berk­shire's sixth-largest stock hold­ing, reg­u­la­tory fil­ings show. On Fri­day, Phillips 66 said quar­terly net in­come fell 43 per­cent from a year ear­lier to $650 mil­lion, or $1.20 per share. The de­cline re­sulted in part from lower crack spreads, or the dif­fer­ence be­tween the cost of oil and the price of re­fined prod­ucts, and as­set write­downs re­sult­ing from low com­mod­ity prices. Ex­clud­ing items, Phillips 66 re­ported profit of $1.31 per share, top­ping an­a­lyst fore­casts. Berk­shire pre­vi­ously in­vested in Cono­coPhillips (COP.N), which spun off Phillips 66 in 2012. In Fe­bru­ary 2014, Berk­shire swapped much of its Phillips 66 stock back to the com­pany for a chem­i­cals busi­ness. It be­gan re­build­ing the stake early last year.

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