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Hedge Funds Are Crazy About National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG)

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Is it smart to be bullish on National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)?

Now, according to many investors, hedge funds are seen as bloated, outdated investment tools of a period lost to current times. Although there are over 8,000 hedge funds with their doors open currently, this site looks at the moguls of this group, close to 525 funds. It is assumed that this group oversees the majority of the smart money’s total assets, and by tracking their highest quality equity investments, we’ve determined a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points a 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 outpaced the S&P 500 index by 33 percentage points in 11 months (find the details here).

Equally as necessary, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to look at the investments you’re interested in. Obviously, there are a variety of reasons for a corporate insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Furthermore, it’s important to discuss the recent info for National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG).

What does the smart money think about National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)?

At the end of the second quarter, a total of 16 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 33% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially.

National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)According to our 13F database, GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, holds the largest position in National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG). GAMCO Investors has a $217.9 million position in the stock, comprising 1.4% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by David Gallo of Valinor Management LLC, with a $63.6 million position; the fund has 2.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedgies with similar optimism include Gregg J. Powers’s Private Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management and Charles Clough’s Clough Capital Partners.

With a general bullishness amongst the titans, certain bigger names were leading the bulls’ herd. GAMCO Investors, managed by Mario Gabelli, established the biggest position in National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG). GAMCO Investors had 217.9 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Gallo’s Valinor Management LLC also made a $63.6 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new NFG positions are Gregg J. Powers’s Private Capital Management, Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, and Charles Clough’s Clough Capital Partners.

Insider trading activity in National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)

Bullish insider trading is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest 180-day time frame, National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero 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 National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG). These stocks are SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM), Cimarex Energy Co (NYSE:XEC), Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP), Kosmos Energy Ltd (NYSE:KOS), and Baytex Energy Corp (USA) (NYSE:BTE). This group of stocks belong to the independent oil & gas industry and their market caps match NFG’s market cap.

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