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Is Eni SpA (E) A Good Stock To Buy?

The 700+ hedge funds and famous money managers tracked by Insider Monkey have already compiled and submitted their 13F filings for the third quarter, which unveil their equity positions as of September 30. We went through these filings, fixed typos and other more significant errors and identified the changes in hedge fund portfolios. Our extensive review of these public filings is finally over, so this article is set to reveal the smart money sentiment towards Eni SpA (NYSE:E).

Eni SpA (NYSE:E) shares haven’t seen a lot of action during the third quarter. Overall, hedge fund sentiment was unchanged. The stock was in 5 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. At the end of this article we will also compare E to other stocks including CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX), Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN), and The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) to get a better sense of its popularity.
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

In the financial world there are a large number of tools investors have at their disposal to grade stocks. A pair of the most under-the-radar tools are hedge fund and insider trading indicators. We have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best fund managers can outperform the broader indices by a solid amount. Insider Monkey’s flagship best performing hedge funds strategy returned 91% since May 2014 and outperformed the Russell 2000 ETFs by nearly 40 percentage points. Our short strategy outperformed the S&P 500 short ETFs by 20 percentage points annually (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

Jeffrey Talpins of Element Capital

We leave no stone unturned when looking for the next great investment idea. For example Discover is offering this insane cashback card, so we look into shorting the stock. One of the most bullish analysts in America just put his money where his mouth is. He says, “I’m investing more today than I did back in early 2009.” So we check out his pitch. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. We even check out this option genius’ weekly trade ideas. This December, we recommended Adams Energy as a one-way bet based on an under-the-radar fund manager’s investor letter and the stock already gained 20 percent. Keeping this in mind let’s go over the fresh hedge fund action regarding Eni SpA (NYSE:E).

How have hedgies been trading Eni SpA (NYSE:E)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 5 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of 0% from the second quarter of 2019. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in E over the last 17 quarters. So, let’s review which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Of the funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Fisher Asset Management, managed by Ken Fisher, holds the largest position in Eni SpA (NYSE:E). Fisher Asset Management has a $45.4 million position in the stock, comprising less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management’s heels is Arrowstreet Capital, led by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, holding a $11.2 million position; the fund has less than 0.1%% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other professional money managers that are bullish comprise Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners and Jeffrey Talpins’s Element Capital Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Fisher Asset Management allocated the biggest weight to Eni SpA (NYSE:E), around 0.05% of its 13F portfolio. Element Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 0.03 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to E.

Due to the fact that Eni SpA (NYSE:E) has experienced declining sentiment from the smart money, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of money managers that decided to sell off their entire stakes in the third quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Renaissance Technologies cut the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds followed by Insider Monkey, worth about $1.7 million in call options. Ken Griffin’s fund, Citadel Investment Group, also sold off its call options, about $0.3 million worth. These transactions are interesting, as total hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Let’s check out hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Eni SpA (NYSE:E). We will take a look at CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX), Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN), The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW), and Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN). All of these stocks’ market caps are similar to E’s market cap.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
CSX 38 4002726 -8
AGN 81 8207290 1
SCHW 52 3125721 4
RTN 49 3254934 10
Average 55 4647668 1.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 55 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $4648 million. That figure was $58 million in E’s case. Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) is the least popular one with only 38 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Eni SpA (NYSE:E) is even less popular than CSX. Hedge funds dodged a bullet by taking a bearish stance towards E. Our calculations showed that the top 20 most popular hedge fund stocks returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Unfortunately E wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks (hedge fund sentiment was very bearish); E investors were disappointed as the stock returned -1.4% during the fourth quarter (through the end of November) and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds as 70 percent of these stocks already outperformed the market so far in Q4.

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

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