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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Noble Energy, Inc. (NBL)

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Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) was in 27 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. NBL investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund interest recently. There were 29 hedge funds in our database with NBL positions at the end of the previous quarter.

Noble Energy logo

At the moment, there are many gauges shareholders can use to track publicly traded companies. Two of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best investment managers can outpace the S&P 500 by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as key, bullish insider trading activity is another way to break down the stock market universe. Just as you’d expect, there are a number of stimuli for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would buy. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if shareholders understand where to look (learn more here).

Now, it’s important to take a peek at the latest action encompassing Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL).

How are hedge funds trading Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL)?

At the end of the first quarter, a total of 27 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -7% from the first quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management had the most valuable position in Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL), worth close to $765.9 million, accounting for 4.6% of its total 13F portfolio. On Eagle Capital Management’s heels is Magnetar Capital, managed by Alec Litowitz and Ross Laser, which held a $196.6 million call position; the fund has 6.3% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Donald Chiboucis’s Columbus Circle Investors, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

Seeing as Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has faced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there was a specific group of fund managers that decided to sell off their positions entirely heading into Q2. At the top of the heap, Joe DiMenna’s ZWEIG DIMENNA PARTNERS dropped the largest investment of all the hedgies we monitor, totaling about $16.3 million in stock., and Mark Kingdon of Kingdon Capital was right behind this move, as the fund dumped about $12.7 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds heading into Q2.

What have insiders been doing with Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is most useful when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last half-year time period, Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 8 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL). These stocks are Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG), Nexen Inc. (USA) (NYSE:NXY), Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), and Devon Energy Corp (NYSE:DVN). This group of stocks are in the independent oil & gas industry and their market caps resemble NBL’s market cap.

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