Is Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds?

Is Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) a good investment right now? We check hedge fund and billionaire investor sentiment before delving into hours of research. Hedge funds spend millions of dollars on Ivy League graduates, unconventional data sources, expert networks, and get tips from investment bankers and industry insiders. Sure they sometimes fail miserably, but their consensus stock picks historically outperformed the market after adjusting for known risk factors.

Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) was in 25 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of September. WLL has seen an increase in hedge fund sentiment lately. There were 23 hedge funds in our database with WLL positions at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that WLL isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings).
5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds
Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

If you’d ask most investors, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, old financial vehicles of the past. While there are over 8000 funds with their doors open today, We choose to focus on the moguls of this club, approximately 750 funds. It is estimated that this group of investors command bulk of the smart money’s total asset base, and by tracking their best picks, Insider Monkey has brought to light numerous investment strategies that have historically outpaced the S&P 500 index. Insider Monkey’s flagship short hedge fund strategy surpassed the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points per year since its inception in May 2014. Our portfolio of short stocks lost 27.8% since February 2017 (through November 21st) even though the market was up more than 39% during the same period. We just shared a list of 7 short targets in our latest quarterly update .


Louis Bacon Moore of Moore Capital

Unlike the largest US hedge funds that are convinced Dow will soar past 40,000 or the world’s most bearish hedge fund that’s more convinced than ever that a crash is coming, our long-short investment strategy doesn’t rely on bull or bear markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on the best performing hedge funds‘ buy/sell signals. We’re going to take a gander at the new hedge fund action surrounding Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL).

Hedge fund activity in Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL)

At Q3’s end, a total of 25 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 9% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 39 hedge funds with a bullish position in WLL a year ago. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.


More specifically, Fine Capital Partners was the largest shareholder of Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL), with a stake worth $16.9 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing Fine Capital Partners was GMT Capital, which amassed a stake valued at $10.8 million. Millennium Management, Citadel Investment Group, and AQR Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Fine Capital Partners allocated the biggest weight to Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL), around 3.81% of its portfolio. Proxima Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, dishing out 2.29 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to WLL.

As aggregate interest increased, some big names have been driving this bullishness. Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, created the largest position in Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL). Millennium Management had $7.7 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Richard Driehaus’s Driehaus Capital also made a $2.7 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new WLL positions are Mike Vranos’s Ellington, David Rosen’s Rubric Capital Management, and Louis Bacon’s Moore Global Investments.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) but similarly valued. We will take a look at The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANDE), Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB), CrossFirst Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFB), and Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE:RGR). This group of stocks’ market valuations resemble WLL’s market valuation.

Ticker No of HFs with positions Total Value of HF Positions (x1000) Change in HF Position
ANDE 14 52713 9
PLAB 18 89460 1
CFB 6 20314 6
RGR 16 88127 3
Average 13.5 62654 4.75

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 13.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $63 million. That figure was $59 million in WLL’s case. Photronics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAB) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand CrossFirst Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFB) is the least popular one with only 6 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) is more popular among hedge funds. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. Unfortunately WLL wasn’t nearly as popular as these 20 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on WLL were disappointed as the stock returned -43% during the first two months of the fourth quarter 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 in Q4.

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