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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Buy Statoil ASA (ADR) (STO)

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Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund interest in recent months.

Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)

In the eyes of most traders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, outdated financial tools of years past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we at Insider Monkey hone in on the leaders of this club, close to 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls most of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by monitoring their highest performing investments, we have determined 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 year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to 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 all of our picks from August).

Equally as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the world of equities. As the old adage goes: there are a number of stimuli for an executive to downsize shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several academic studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this strategy if investors know what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a look at the key action regarding Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO).

What have hedge funds been doing with Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)?

In preparation for this quarter, a total of 14 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of 17% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ capital changing hands, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies had the most valuable position in Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO), worth close to $64.9 million, comprising 0.2% of its total 13F portfolio. On Renaissance Technologies’s heels is Astenbeck Capital Management, managed by Andrew Hall, which held a $55.8 million position; the fund has 9.8% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that hold long positions include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management.

As one would reasonably expect, some big names were leading the bulls’ herd. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, created the largest position in Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO). Millennium Management had 7.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Matthew Tewksbury’s Stevens Capital Management also made a $1.1 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The only other fund with a new position in the stock is Arvind Sanger’s GeoSphere Capital Management.

How are insiders trading Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives 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, Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO). These stocks are Ecopetrol S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:EC), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNP), Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), and Eni SpA (ADR) (NYSE:E). This group of stocks are the members of the major integrated oil & gas industry and their market caps are closest to STO’s market cap.

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