We have been waiting for this for a year and finally the third quarter ended up showing a nice bump in the performance of small-cap stocks. Both the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 were up since the end of the second quarter, but small-cap stocks outperformed the large-cap stocks by double digits. This is important for hedge funds, which are big supporters of small-cap stocks, because their investors started pulling some of their capital out due to poor recent performance. It is very likely that equity hedge funds will deliver better risk adjusted returns in the second half of this year. In this article we are going to look at how this recent market trend affected the sentiment of hedge funds towards Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL), and what that likely means for the prospects of the company and its stock.
Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL) investors should be aware of a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds of late. The level and the change in hedge fund popularity aren’t the only variables you need to analyze to decipher hedge funds’ perspectives. A stock may witness a boost in popularity but it may still be less popular than similarly priced stocks. That’s why at the end of this article we will examine companies such as Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE:GNRC), PBF Energy Inc (NYSE:PBF), and Select Income REIT (NYSE:SIR) to gather more data points.
At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a peek at the recent action surrounding Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL).
Hedge fund activity in Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL)
At the end of the third quarter, a total of 35 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of -15% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings substantially (or already accumulated large positions).
According to publicly available hedge fund and institutional investor holdings data compiled by Insider Monkey, Fine Capital Partners, managed by Debra Fine, holds the most valuable position in Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL). Fine Capital Partners has a $120.3 million position in the stock, comprising 12.3% of its 13F portfolio. The second most bullish fund manager is Israel Englander of Millennium Management, with a $90 million position; 0.2% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other professional money managers that hold long positions comprise Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin’s Senator Investment Group, Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group and David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments.