Is Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

Is Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) a buy, sell, or hold? The smart money is becoming less hopeful. The number of longhedge fund positions were cut by 1 lately.

In today’s marketplace, there are many indicators shareholders can use to track publicly traded companies. A couple of the most innovative are hedge fund and insider trading movement. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the best hedge fund managers can outperform the market by a healthy margin (see just how much).

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR)

Equally as key, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the financial markets. There are plenty of motivations for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to take a look at the recent action encompassing Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR).

How have hedgies been trading Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR)?

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 24 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -4% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Third Point, managed by Dan Loeb, holds the largest position in Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR). Third Point has a $370 million position in the stock, comprising 6.8% of its 13F portfolio. On Third Point’s heels is Southeastern Asset Management, managed by Mason Hawkins, which held a $364 million position; the fund has 1.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies with similar optimism include William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management, John Paulson’s Paulson & Co and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

Seeing as Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) has faced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there was a specific group of hedgies who sold off their positions entirely at the end of the year. Intriguingly, John Overdeck and David Siegel’s Two Sigma Advisors said goodbye to the biggest investment of all the hedgies we watch, comprising about $10 million in stock., and Anand Parekh of Alyeska Investment Group was right behind this move, as the fund dropped about $5 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds at the end of the year.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR)?

Insider buying is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the last six-month time frame, Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) has seen 1 unique insiders purchasing, and 10 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the results demonstrated by the aforementioned tactics, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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