Looking for a stock to buy? Of course, you are not going to buy any stock out there. To say that the stock selection process is cumbersome and time consuming is an understatement. Truth be told, there is a massive number of stocks to choose from, so most investors need to find a way of narrowing down their research. For that reason, the Insider Monkey team compiled a list of five most searched stocks by financial advisors during the previous trading week. Although recent research provided evidence that stock trades made in conjunction with a financial advisor failed to beat the broader market, it would still be worthwhile to take a look at which stocks these financially-educated individuals look for. The data was obtained from TrackStar, which is the official newsletter of InvestingChannel’s division, Intuition. So let’s proceed with the discussion of the recent developments of the five companies in question.
Prior to discussing the aforementioned five stocks, let’s make you familiar with what Insider Monkey does besides providing high-quality articles. We also track hedge funds and prominent investors because our research has shown that historically their stock picks delivered superior risk-adjusted returns. This is especially true in the small-cap space. The 50 most popular large-cap stocks among hedge funds had a monthly alpha of about six basis points per month between 1999 and 2012; however the 15 most popular small-cap stocks delivered a monthly alpha of 80 basis points during the same period. This means investors would have generated 10.0 percentage points of alpha per year simply by imitating hedge funds’ top 15 small-cap ideas. We have been tracking the performance of these stocks since the end of August 2012 in real time and these stocks beat the market by 53 percentage points (102% return vs. the S&P 500’s 48.7% gain) over the last 38 months (see the details here).
#5 Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)
The world’s largest publicly-traded international oil and gas company has seen its shares drop nearly 14% this year, mainly owing to the lower crude oil prices. At the end of October, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) reported earnings of $4.2 billion for the third quarter, compared with $8.1 billion reported last year. This decrease in earnings shows the extent to which the low-oil-price environment has impacted Exxon over the past several months. Earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly petroleum status report, which revealed that the U.S. commercial crude inventories swelled by 1.2 million barrels last week to 489.4 million barrels. Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s policy meeting kicks off on Friday in Vienna, which will surely discuss possibilities of market intervention to drive up oil prices. Donald Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management cut its position in Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) by 2% during the June-to-September period, ending the quarter with 5.89 million shares.