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Buffett Increases Holdings in This Oil and Gas Stock


Berkshire Hathaway's stake in National Oilwell Varco increased 41% from January to March -- and here's why.

Commonly referred to as the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett is one of the world's most famous investors, heralded for his simple yet effective valuation methods. So when the legendary investor makes a big bet, most are willing to follow in hopes of cashing in on Buffett's guru-like instincts. Buffett's latest bet was placed on a Houston-based oil and gas equipment and services company: National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV).

According the Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.B) most recent 13F filing, the company's stake in NOV has increased by 41% from January 2013 to March 2013. The report also indicated that a board member recently bought a little over 1,100 shares at the end of April. For those looking to follow Buffett, we highlight some key factors investors should consider:

Industry Veteran Continues to Dominate

Capturing roughly 60% of the market share in its industry, National Oilwell Varco is one of the leading names in the oil and gas equipment and services space. The company was founded in 1862 and is currently headquartered in Houston, Texas. Its operations are segmented into three main categories: rig technology, petroleum services, and distribution and transportation. Some of the company's most successful products include offshore and onshore drilling rigs, oilfield tubular goods, drill string equipment, as well as extensive lifting and handling equipment.

Perhaps one of the most attractive features of this company is that while its performance is somewhat affected by the volatility of oil prices, its business model still allows it to generate profits as the company can continue to sell its wares no matter what condition the oil and gas drilling industry is currently in. As such, the company's over 170-year history is certainly a testament to its success and resilience.

Below are some key statistics to keep track of (as of 5/29/13):
  • Market Cap: $30.58 billion
  • P/E: 12.83
  • Forward P/E: 10.94
  • EPS: 5.58
  • Dividend Yield: 1.50%
Year-to-date, National Oilwell Varco has gained only 2.07%, while over the trailing one-month period the stock has jumped more than 8.4%.

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Editor's note: This article by Daniela Pylypczak was originally published on Commodity HQ.
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