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Hedge Funds Are Betting On National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) – Cimarex Energy Co (NYSE:XEC), Kosmos Energy Ltd (NYSE:KOS)

National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) investors should be aware of an increase in support from the world’s most elite money managers recently.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM)

In the eyes of most shareholders, hedge funds are assumed to be unimportant, old investment tools of years past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation today, we look at the moguls of this club, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls most of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by tracking their highest performing picks, we have found a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the broader indices. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy beat the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per year for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outclassed the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (see all of our picks from August).

Equally as beneficial, bullish insider trading activity is a second way to break down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are many incentives for a bullish insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Plenty of academic studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if you know what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a gander at the latest action surrounding National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG).

What does the smart money think about National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 8% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists an “upper tier” of key hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors had the biggest position in National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG), worth close to $192 million, comprising 1.4% of its total 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Daniel S. Och of OZ Management, with a $56 million position; the fund has 0.2% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism include Gregg J. Powers’s Private Capital Management, George Soros’s Soros Fund Management and Charles Clough’s Clough Capital Partners.

Now, key hedge funds were breaking ground themselves. Renaissance Technologies, managed by Jim Simons, assembled the largest position in National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG). Renaissance Technologies had 7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors also initiated a $1 million position during the quarter.

How are insiders trading National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time frame, National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 2 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG). These stocks are SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM), Cimarex Energy Co (NYSE:XEC), Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP), Kosmos Energy Ltd (NYSE:KOS), and Baytex Energy Corp (USA) (NYSE:BTE). All of these stocks are in the independent oil & gas industry and their market caps resemble NFG’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM) 16 0 3
Cimarex Energy Co (NYSE:XEC) 17 0 9
Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) 37 0 0
Kosmos Energy Ltd (NYSE:KOS) 7 1 10
Baytex Energy Corp (USA) (NYSE:BTE) 9 0 0

With the results exhibited by our tactics, everyday investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading activity, and National Fuel Gas Co. (NYSE:NFG) is an important part of this process.