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Hedge Funds Actually Bought Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) During The Crash

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the first quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 4.5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) based on that data.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has seen an increase in enthusiasm from smart money recently. Our calculations also showed that XOM isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks).

Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit there are plenty of signals stock market investors have at their disposal to value their holdings. Two of the most innovative signals are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the best investment managers can outpace the broader indices by a significant amount (see the details here).

Phill Gross of Adage Capital Management

At Insider Monkey we leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example, Europe is set to become the world’s largest cannabis market, so we checked out this European marijuana stock pitch. Also, we are still not out of the woods in terms of the coronavirus pandemic. So, we checked out this analyst’s “corona catalyst plays“.  We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. Our best call in 2020 was shorting the market when the S&P 500 was trading at 3150 after realizing the coronavirus pandemic’s significance before most investors. Now let’s review the fresh hedge fund action encompassing Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM).

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

Heading into the second quarter of 2020, a total of 65 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 3% from the previous quarter. Below, you can check out the change in hedge fund sentiment towards XOM over the last 18 quarters. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, D E Shaw held the most valuable stake in Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), which was worth $341.3 million at the end of the third quarter. On the second spot was Fisher Asset Management which amassed $257.1 million worth of shares. Citadel Investment Group, Adage Capital Management, and Maple Rock Capital were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Stamos Capital allocated the biggest weight to Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), around 3.21% of its 13F portfolio. ZWEIG DIMENNA PARTNERS is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 2.47 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to XOM.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key money managers were leading the bulls’ herd. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, created the largest position in Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM). Arrowstreet Capital had $53.2 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Benjamin A. Smith’s Laurion Capital Management also initiated a $18.8 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Joe DiMenna’s ZWEIG DIMENNA PARTNERS, Richard SchimeláandáLawrence Sapanski’s Cinctive Capital Management, and Warren Lammert’s Granite Point Capital.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM). These stocks are Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL), Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE), and Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble XOM’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CMCSA 83 5538665 -4
CHL 11 449753 -1
ADBE 115 8180671 9
ORCL 48 2437677 -11
Average 64.25 4151692 -1.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 64.25 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $4152 million. That figure was $1295 million in XOM’s case. Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL) is the least popular one with only 11 bullish hedge fund positions. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 7.9% in 2020 through May 22nd but still beat the market by 15.6 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on XOM, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 19.7% during the first two months of the second quarter (through May 22nd) and outperformed the market as well.

Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.