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Oyl Energy Is a Buy
Investors try to ride the petroleum price boom by placing orders to buy Oyl Energy stock.
May 12, 2008
Neither Ellison's (clue 2), Gates' (4), Icahn's (5), nor Buffett's (6) order was the 5th and last share purchase, so Schwab's was. By clue 6, investor Buffett's share purchase came immediately ahead of Michael's, while by clue 7, Jack called in his order immediately before investor Icahn did. The only possible commonality between the two clues is if Jack were Buffett and Michael Icahn. However, by clue 7, then, Michael Icahn's order would have been for 1,250 more shares than Jack Buffett's, but by clue 6, Jack Buffett's order would have been for 2,500 more shares than Michael Icahn's. So, four of the five share purchasers are named between clues 6 and 7. Since the Ben isn't Buffett (1) and made his share purchase later in the morning than Icahn did (5), Ben's order is the fifth to the four in clues 6 and 7. There are three possible orderings for the five purchases given clues in 5, 6, and 7: 1) Jack's, Icahn's, Ben's, Buffett's, and Michael's; 2) Jack's, Icahn's, Buffett's, Michael's, and Ben's; or 3) Buffett's, Michael's, Jack's, Icahn's, and Ben's. In the first arrangement, Michael would be Schwab, contradicting clue 3. Trying the second arrangement, Ben would be Schwab. Jack would be Gates (4), and Michael then Ellison. Since Gates purchased 1,500 fewer shares than Cynthia (4), Cynthia wouldn't be Icahn, who ordered 1,250 more shares than Jack (7). Cynthia would be Buffett and Helen Icahn. Letting Ellison's number of Oyl Energy shares ordered equal X, Buffett would have ordered X + 2,500 (6), Helen Icahn 2X (2), and Jack Gates 2X - 1,250 (7). Jack Gates also would have bought X + 1,000 (4), so that 2X - 1,250 would equal X + 1,000. Solving, X would equal 2,250. So, Michael would have bought 2,250, Cynthia 4,750, Helen 4,500, Jack 3,250, and Ben Schwab (3) 3,000. However, there would be two differences between numbers of shares purchased of 250--impossible by clue 8. Therefore, arrangement 2) also fails, and arrangement 3) remains: Buffett's Oyl stock purchase followed in order by Michael's, Jack's, Icahn's, and Ben Schwab's, which was for 3,000 shares (3). Cynthia isn't Buffet (4); she is Icahn, and the Helen is Buffett. Since Cynthia Icahn bought 1,250 more shares than Jack (7), Jack isn't Gates, who ordered 1,500 fewer shares than Cynthia (4). Jack is Ellison and Michael Gates. Letting the number of shares Jack Ellison purchased equal X, Cynthia Icahn bought X + 1,250 (7). Helen Buffett ordered 2X (2), so Michael Gates bought 2X - 2,500 (6). Michael Gates also ordered X - 250 (4). So, 2X - 2,500 = X - 250. Solving, X equals 2,250. Thus Jack ordered 2,250, Cynthia 3,500, Helen 4,500, and Michael 2,000 shares of Oyl Energy stock. The five investors placed purchase orders with Scott Short-Sellers last Friday morning as follows:

  • 1st - Helen Buffett, 4,500
  • 2nd - Michael Gates, 2,000
  • 3rd - Jack Ellison, 2,250
  • 4th - Cynthia Icahn, 3,500
  • 5th - Ben Schwab, 3,000

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