Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens reversed course in the third quarter by slimming down his energy holdings and selling several stocks he’d bought just three months earlier as the worst crude market downturn in decades drags on longer than he expected.
The value of energy stocks held by his Dallas-based TBP Investments Management LLC fell by more than half in the quarter to $35.6 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. TBP exited stakes in 13 companies, including smaller oilfield contractors Pioneer Energy Services Corp., C&J Energy Services Ltd. and Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. Many of the positions Pickens sold were stakes he had bought in the second quarter.
TBP also sold off smaller positions in exploration companies Apache Corp., and Occidental Petroleum Corp. By exiting Apache in the third quarter, Pickens missed out on the company’s recent improvement, as the Houston-based producer has climbed 27 percent since Oct. 1. Much of the surge came on news last week that it had been approached by a buyer.
“We have reduced positions,” Pickens said Tuesday in an interview on “Bloomberg Markets” in New York. “We’re in a mode where we still have powder.”
By exiting his position in Suncor Energy Inc., Pickens has sold out of Canada’s oil sands, which is one of the world’s most expensive sources of crude supply. Suncor is the largest Canadian energy company and the biggest oil-sands producer.