Although the Kuwait oil workers strike might be over, the crude bull market is raging on. WTI futures have hit a monthly high of $42.70 per barrel, and the broader markets are slightly higher because of it. Among the stocks leading the way in Wednesday’s action are Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:HNSN), Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:MANH), Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE:IPI), and SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY). Let’s find out why traders are buying these equities and see how hedge funds are positioned in each stock.
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Rising Crude Prices Help Freeport-McMoRan
Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) is 3% higher today on the back of higher WTI prices. Today’s EIA numbers showed a 2.1 million-barrel increase in crude inventories last week, better than both the API’s estimate of 3.1 million barrels of inventory and analysts’ expectations of 2.4 million barrels. The EIA numbers also showed a 3.6 million-barrel drop in distillates versus the expected 0.3 million-barrel increase. The bullish numbers were enough to send energy prices higher despite the strike in Kuwait ending. Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) benefits from the higher prices because it hasn’t sold its oil and gas operations yet. 37 top funds that we track in our database owned Freeport-McMoRan at the end of December, with Carl Icahn‘s Icahn Capital LP among them.
Auris Surgical Robotics to Acquire Hansen
Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:HNSN) shares have surged by almost 39% out of the gate after Auris Surgical Robotics announced that it will acquire the company in an equity deal worth around $80 million or $4.00 per share. The deal is expected to close by mid-2016. Both companies develop intravascular robotics systems, which is a burgeoning growth market. Two elite funds in our system owned $1.35 million worth of Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:HNSN)’s shares at the end of 2015.
On the next page we examine why Manhattan Associates Inc, Intrepid Potash Inc, and SolarCity are making moves up today.
Manhattan Associates Hits Earnings Out of the Park
Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:MANH) reported excellent first quarter financial results, beating both profit and revenue expectations. For the January-to-March period, the supply chain solutions firm earned $0.42 per share on revenue of $149.86 million, exceeding estimates by $0.03 per share and $4.4 million respectively. Cash flow from operations ended the quarter at $40.4 million, up from the year-ago quarter’s $15.2 million. Revenue from the Americas jumped by 17.1% year-over-year to $128.8 million. Full year guidance was strong, with management predicting total sales of $615 million-to-$620 million and EPS of $1.73-to-$1.76, slightly topping estimates. Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies owned more than 2.3 million shares of Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:MANH) at the end of the fourth quarter and should be pleased that shares of the company are 15% higher today.
Technical Buying Detected at Intrepid
Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE:IPI) is getting some love from technical buyers today after the company recently pierced through a key moving average. Given that the stock has fallen by 62% year-to-date, some traders are betting on a bounce. Shares are 9% higher because of the buying, although how long the good times will last is unknown. Given the nano-cap nature of the company, potential buyers are urged to exercise due-diligence before doing so. 11 elite funds in our database owned 9.7% of Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE:IPI)’s shares at the end of the fourth quarter.
SolarCity Powers Up on Higher Crude Prices
Oil and gas companies aren’t the only beneficiaries of higher crude prices today. Given the correlation between solar and crude prices, some traders are piling into SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) as well, with their actions pushing shares of the company up by 10% in afternoon trading. Given that 38% of SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY)’s float is short, a short squeeze might also have something to do with today’s rally. 29 elite funds in our database of savvy investors owned 15.8% of the float at the end of December.