Hedge Funds Aren’t Crazy About Swift Energy Company (SFY) Anymore

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Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY) was in 15 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of March. SFY investors should pay attention to a decrease in enthusiasm from smart money in recent months. There were 15 hedge funds in our database with SFY holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

According to most investors, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated investment tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds trading today, we at Insider Monkey look at the moguls of this club, around 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls most of the hedge fund industry’s total capital, and by tracking their top picks, we have unsheathed a few investment strategies that have historically outstripped Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum 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 23.3 percentage points in 8 months (see the details here).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to parse down the world of equities. There are lots of motivations for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a gander at the key action regarding Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY).

What have hedge funds been doing with Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY)?

At Q1′s end, a total of 15 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings significantly.

Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY)According to our comprehensive database, Private Capital Management, managed by Gregg J. Powers, holds the most valuable position in Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY). Private Capital Management has a $28.3 million position in the stock, comprising 2.7% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management, with a $11.7 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining hedge funds that hold long positions include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Because Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY) has faced bearish sentiment from the smart money, it’s easy to see that there was a specific group of fund managers who sold off their positions entirely in Q1. Intriguingly, Russell Lucas’s Lucas Capital Management cut the biggest investment of all the hedgies we monitor, valued at close to $1.9 million in stock., and Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell of Arrowstreet Capital was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $1.7 million worth. These moves are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Insider trading activity in Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last 180-day time frame, Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY) has seen 3 unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY). These stocks are Sanchez Energy Corp (NYSE:SN), Contango Oil & Gas Company (NYSEAMEX:MCF), Chesapeake Granite Wash Trust (NYSE:CHKR), Forest Oil Corporation (NYSE:FST), and TransGlobe Energy Corporation (USA) (NASDAQ:TGA). This group of stocks are the members of the independent oil & gas industry and their market caps are similar to SFY’s market cap.

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