Hedge Funds Are Dumping ENSCO PLC (ESV)

ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV) investors might want to watch this data.

In the 21st century investor’s toolkit, there are plenty of methods investors can use to monitor publicly traded companies. A pair of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the elite investment managers can outpace their index-focused peers by a significant margin (see just how much).

Just as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to look at the world of equities. There are a variety of motivations for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this tactic if you know where to look (learn more here).

ENSCO PLC

Furthermore, we’re going to study the recent info about ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV).

How have hedgies been trading ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV)?

In preparation for the third quarter, a total of 30 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -19% from one quarter earlier. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

According to our 13F database, MHR Fund Management, managed by Mark Rachesky, holds the largest position in ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV). MHR Fund Management has a $225.8 million position in the stock, comprising 7.8% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson of Adage Capital Management, with a $159.6 million position; 0.5% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other peers with similar optimism include Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC, Jonathan Auerbach’s Hound Partners and Scott McLellan’s Marble Arch Investments.

Since ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV) has experienced declining interest from the smart money’s best and brightest, we can see that there is a sect of hedgies who sold off their full holdings in Q1. It’s worth mentioning that SAC Subsidiary’s Sigma Capital Management dropped the biggest investment of the “upper crust” of funds we monitor, worth close to $9 million in stock, and Philip Hempleman of Ardsley Partners was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $8 million worth. These moves are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 7 funds in Q1.

How are insiders trading ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV)?

Legal insider trading, particularly when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time frame, ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV) has seen 1 unique insiders buying, and 12 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

We’ll also examine the relationship between both of these indicators in other stocks similar to ENSCO PLC (NYSE:ESV). These stocks are Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE), Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc (NYSE:DO), Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE:CXO), Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL), and Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG). This group of stocks are in the oil & gas drilling & exploration industry and their market caps resemble ESV’s market cap.