Here is What Hedge Funds Think About Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP)

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Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) was in 43 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. PXP investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund interest recently. There were 41 hedge funds in our database with PXP holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

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In the financial world, there are plenty of indicators shareholders can use to track Mr. Market. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Equally as important, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the financial markets. There are plenty of stimuli for an executive to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Many academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if “monkeys” know what to do (learn more here).

Now, we’re going to take a gander at the key action regarding Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP).

What have hedge funds been doing with Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 43 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 5% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, holds the biggest position in Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP). Paulson & Co has a $607.6 million position in the stock, comprising 3.4% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Alpine Associates, managed by Robert Emil Zoellner, which held a $183.2 million position; the fund has 7.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedge funds that are bullish include Daniel S. Och’s OZ Management, David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments and Michael A. Price and Amos Meron’s Empyrean Capital Partners.

Now, key hedge funds have jumped into Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) headfirst. OZ Management, managed by Daniel S. Och, assembled the largest position in Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP). OZ Management had 152.3 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. David Costen Haley’s HBK Investments also made a $150.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Michael A. Price and Amos Meron’s Empyrean Capital Partners, Nick Niell’s Arrowgrass Capital Partners, and Thomas Steyer’s Farallon Capital.

What have insiders been doing with Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time period, Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP). These stocks are Kosmos Energy Ltd (NYSE:KOS), National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG), Baytex Energy Corp (USA) (NYSE:BTE), Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE:DNR), and Cimarex Energy Co (NYSE:XEC). This group of stocks belong to the independent oil & gas industry and their market caps are similar to PXP’s market cap.

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