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Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC): Are Hedge Funds Right About This Stock?

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Is Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC) undervalued? Investors who are in the know are getting more optimistic. The number of bullish hedge fund positions went up by 4 recently.

Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC)

At the moment, there are tons of gauges shareholders can use to analyze Mr. Market. Two of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best hedge fund managers can outclass their index-focused peers by a solid amount (see just how much).

Just as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are lots of motivations for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if you know where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, let’s take a look at the recent action surrounding Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC).

How have hedgies been trading Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 49 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 9% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Eton Park Capital, managed by Eric Mindich, holds the most valuable position in Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC). Eton Park Capital has a $313.6 million call position in the stock, comprising 6.3% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is D E Shaw, managed by D. E. Shaw, which held a $280.3 million position; the fund has 0.7% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global, Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management and John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors.

As aggregate interest increased, some big names were breaking ground themselves. Eton Park Capital, managed by Eric Mindich, established the most outsized call position in Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC). Eton Park Capital had 313.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global also made a $255.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser’s Magnetar Capital, Eric Mindich’s Eton Park Capital, and Jacob Doft’s Highline Capital Management.

What have insiders been doing with Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest half-year time frame, Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 5 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 Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC). These stocks are Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO), and Imperial Oil Limited (USA) (NYSEAMEX:IMO). This group of stocks are in the oil & gas refining & marketing industry and their market caps match MPC’s market cap.

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