By STEVE GELSI
NEW YORK -- A report that marquee investor Warren Buffett
waded into shares of Phillips 66 sparked healthy gains in
shares of the refiner on Friday, as energy stocked rallied with
the broad equities market.
Shares of Phillips 66 jumped 5% after the Berkshire Hathaway
founder and chief Buffett told Bloomberg News he
reduced his holdings in ConocoPhillips and bought into Phillips
66, a recent newcomer to the S&P 500.
The Houston-based refiner finds itself in a current upswing
in the refining space as low natural gas
prices help keep costs lower to run hydrocrackers that make
Taking aim at the looming earnings season for refiners,
Barclays analysts said earlier this week that the group should
exceed profit estimates.
In a bullish sign for second-quarter profits, US refining margins improved over
conditions earlier in the year, as the cost of oil used to make
petroleum producers fell well below $100/bbl.
Average refining margins for refiners improved by nearly
$6/bbl above the first quarter, and $5.50/bbl better than the
year-ago period, Barclays noted.
Buffett's disclosure of his investment in Phillips 66 comes
just months after ConocoPhillips spun off the refining company.
Dow Jones Newswires