Notable business headlines include Saudi Aramco profits soaring by 80% in the first quarter, Berkshire Hathaway increasing its spending on stocks amid volatility, and CEO pay packages topping new records in 2021.
JULIE HYMAN: Saudi Aramco says its profits skyrocketed by 80% in the first quarter, as the mostly Saudi government-owned company saw a rise in oil prices amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It's the company's highest quarterly profits since it listed on the Riyadh Stock Exchange back in 2019. The earnings report also revealed that Saudi Aramco maintained its $18.8 billion cash dividend in the fourth quarter of last year, rounding off one of the biggest full year cash dividends in the world. Last week, as we told you, Aramco overtook Apple as the world's most valuable company on a market cap basis.
Warren Buffett's taking advantage of Berkshire Hathaway's massive cash pile. The legendary investor is increasing spending on stocks amid recent market volatility, buying over 900,000 shares of Occidental Petroleum. That's according to a regulatory filing. Berkshire also recently increased its stake in Chevron and Apple. The tech giant is the Omaha-based company's second largest-- excuse me-- its largest stock holding. Investors will get another peek into what Berkshire is buying and selling when it files a quarterly report required by the Securities and Exchange Commission. That happens later today.
And pay packages for CEOs are hitting new milestones. New analysis from "The Wall Street Journal" reveals that median compensation for those leading the largest US companies hit a whopping $14.7 million in 2021. The year before, the typical pay package was $13.4 million. Expedia's Peter Kern topped the list of CEOs that made the most. He got a $296 million pay package. Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zaslav came in second with $246 million. Sozz?