Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): What Do The World’s Best Investors Think?

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) was in 54 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. XOM has seen a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 59 hedge funds in our database with XOM holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM

In today’s marketplace, there are plenty of methods shareholders can use to monitor Mr. Market. A duo of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading sentiment. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can trounce the broader indices by a very impressive amount (see just how much).

Just as beneficial, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to break down the marketplace. As the old adage goes: there are plenty of motivations for a bullish insider to get rid of shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if investors understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a glance at the key action surrounding Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM).

How are hedge funds trading Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)?

At year’s end, a total of 54 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -8% from the third quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a select group of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Michael Larson’s Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust had the largest position in Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), worth close to $661.6 million, comprising 3.9% of its total 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Adage Capital Management, managed by Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson, which held a $513 million position; 1.9% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other peers with similar optimism include Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management and Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management.

Judging by the fact that Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has witnessed a declination in interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, we can see that there lies a certain “tier” of funds that slashed their full holdings heading into 2013. Interestingly, Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Capital dropped the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, totaling about $123.1 million in stock., and Daniel Arbess of Xerion was right behind this move, as the fund sold off about $4.3 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 5 funds heading into 2013.

How have insiders been trading Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has experienced 1 unique insiders buying, and 5 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM). These stocks are TOTAL S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TOT), BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), and PetroChina Company Limited (ADR) (NYSE:PTR). All of these stocks are in the major integrated oil & gas industry and their market caps are similar to XOM’s market cap.