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BlackRock’s Doll: profit taken in energy

BlackRock Inc, one of the largest asset managers, has been taking profits in energy but still favors large-cap names like Exxon Mobil and is buying refineries, which are cheap, Bob Doll, the company’s head of global equities, told Reuters on Monday.

Exxon, along with Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips, have been top holdings in two of the three large-cap funds that Doll directly manages at BlackRock, which has $1.3 trillion under management. But Doll told Reuters that he has been reducing stakes in large integrated energy companies but is not counting the sector out because the big oil names make money overseas, where economic growth will slow but not as much as in the United States.

„We have been profit-taking in our energy names,” Doll said at the Reuters Investment Outlook 2008 Summit in New York. „We have had significant overweights in energy, have gotten paid for them and are now ringing the cash register a bit.” Doll has been buying refineries, although he did not name any companies, and raising the capitalization of the energy stocks, like other sectors, that BlackRock owns.

The price of oil is always volatile and as a commodity can quickly move up or down 20% almost without being noticed, Doll told Reuters. However, because demand is still strong abroad, Doll does not see oil falling to $65 to $70 a barrel and, absent a US and global recession, oil prices will remain relatively firm, he said at the Reuters Summit.