Do Hedge Funds and Insiders Love Noble Energy, Inc. (NBL)?

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Is Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) a buy?

If you were to ask many of your peers, hedge funds are seen as delayed, outdated investment vehicles of a forgotten age. Although there are In excess of 8,000 hedge funds with their doors open in present day, Insider Monkey looks at the elite of this club, about 525 funds. It is assumed that this group oversees the majority of the hedge fund industry's total assets, and by watching their highest quality picks, we've discovered a number of investment strategies that have historically outperformed the S&P 500. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we've started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as key, bullish insider trading activity is another way to look at the financial markets. Just as you'd expect, there are a number of reasons for a bullish insider to drop shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if investors understand where to look (learn more here).

Noble Energy logo

Keeping this in mind, we're going to analyze the newest info about Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL).

What have hedge funds been doing with Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL)?

At Q2's end, a total of 31 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 15% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds' sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially.

Out of the hedge funds we follow, Boykin Curry's Eagle Capital Management had the most valuable position in Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL), worth close to $866.1 million, accounting for 4.6% of its total 13F portfolio. On Eagle Capital Management's heels is Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser of Magnetar Capital, with a $240.2 million call position; 6.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining hedge funds that are bullish include Donald Chiboucis's Columbus Circle Investors, Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson's Adage Capital Management and Steven Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors.

As aggregate interest spiked, certain money managers were breaking ground themselves. Eagle Capital Management, managed by Boykin Curry, established the most outsized position in Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL). Eagle Capital Management had 866.1 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser's Magnetar Capital also initiated a $240.2 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Donald Chiboucis's Columbus Circle Investors, Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson's Adage Capital Management, and Steven Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors.

How have insiders been trading Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL)?

Insider buying made by high-level executives is best served when the company in question has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We'll also review the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL). These stocks are Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG), Nexen Inc. (USA) (NYSE:NXY), Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), and Devon Energy Corp (NYSE:DVN). This group of stocks are the members of the independent oil & gas industry and their market caps resemble NBL's market cap.

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