#3. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC)
– Hedge Funds with Long Positions (as of March 31): 59
– Aggregate Value of Hedge Funds’ Holdings (as of March 31): $1.84 Billion
Moving on, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) suffered a drop in its popularity in the first quarter. During the January-to-March period, ownership of the company among the funds we track inched down by two, while the aggregate value of their Anadarko holdings fell by almost 40%. Though Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC)’s stock managed to outperform the S&P 500 Energy (Sector) Index during the second quarter, rallying by 14.34% during that period, it underperformed the index during the first half of 2016, gaining 9.61% during that time frame. Since Anadarko has reported lower than expected revenue for the past three quarters and the liquidity profile of the company is in shambles, some analysts are skeptical about the company’s ability to perform well going forward. At best, they believe the stock can hold on to its current price if oil prices continue to rally, but will tank if crude oil prices retreat below $40 per barrel. Vince Maddi and Shawn Brennan’s SIR Capital Management initiated a stake in Anadarko during the first quarter, purchasing 490,500 shares of the company.
#2. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM)
– Hedge Funds with Long Positions (as of March 31): 60
– Aggregate Value of Hedge Funds’ Holdings (as of March 31): $2.5 Billion
Shares of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) have been on a gradual rise since the beginning of 2016, ending the first quarter up by 7.24% and gaining another 12.14% in the second quarter. However, the first quarter rally didn’t help the stock gain popularity among the hedge funds in our database, as there were eight fewer of them long Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) by the end of the first quarter. Over the past few quarters, Exxon Mobil has been increasing its focus towards liquefied natural gas (LNG), the demand for which is expected to overtake supply by 2020. According to analysts, this transition will help the company improve its growth prospects in the long run and make it less vulnerable to the volatility in crude oil prices. Recently, some Australian newspapers reported that Exxon Mobil has made a bid for Papua New Guinea-focused gas explorer InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC), but both companies have refrained from commenting on the matter. Billionaire Ken Fisher‘s Fisher Asset Management lowered its stake in Exxon Mobil by 16% to 4.54 million shares during the first quarter.
#1. Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD)
– Hedge Funds with Long Positions (as of March 31): 61
– Aggregate Value of Hedge Funds’ Holdings (as of March 31): $3.17 Billion
Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) was not only the favorite energy stock of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey at the end of first quarter, but also emerged as the best performing stock among those featured in this list during the first-half of 2016, registering a gain of 20.60%. However, unlike most other energy stocks, shares of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) have yet to recover from the Brexit shock at the end of June, which was one of the reasons why it ended the second quarter with a modest gain of 7.4%. Nevertheless, with the company recently raising its production guidance for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, most analysts continue to remain extremely bullish on the stock, which sports an average rating of ‘Buy’ and an average price target of $189.38 from the 45 leading analysts and research firms on Wall Street who cover it. Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann‘s 3G capital initiated a stake in Pioneer Natural Resources during the first quarter, purchasing 600,000 shares of the company.