Oil Stock Takes a Breather After Friday's Buffett Bounce

OXY already sports a more than 145% year-to-date lead

Deputy Editor
Aug 22, 2022 at 9:34 AM
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Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) is taking a breather this morning, with the shares last seen trading 3% lower at $69.14. On Friday, OXY tacked on 9.9% after regulators permitted Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) to purchase up to 50% of the oil giant. Buffett's conglomerate already held 188.5 million shares of Occidental stock, or a 20.2% position, and the 50% stake threshold could potentially add billions of dollars in profit by allowed Berkshire to add the oil company's earnings with its own.

Friday's pop helped put Occidental Petroleum stock within a hair's breadth of its May 31, annual high of $74.04, with the session's positive price action stopping just short of the $73.50 level. The equity just has seen impressive returns in the last two weeks, gaining 11.4% and 8.5%, respectively. Coming into today, OXY stood 145.9% higher year-to-date. 

Options bulls are likely cheering the recent spike in the underlying shares. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Occidental Petroleum stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 4.13 ranks higher than 90% of readings from the past year. This indicates long calls have been picked up at a quicker-than-usual clip in the last 10 weeks. 

Those looking to hop on the bandwagon are in luck, as options can be had for a bargain right now. This is per OXY's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 53%, which ranks in the low 16th percentile of its annual range. What's more, the equity's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) sits at a 93 out of a possible 100, suggesting Occidental Petroleum stock has exceeded volatility expectations during the past calendar year -- a boon for premium buyers.

Short interest, meanwhile, rose 12% over the last month, and there's still room for a short squeeze. The 61.47 million shares sold short make up 6.6% of the stock's available float, and would take over two days to buy back, at OXY's average daily pace of trading. 


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