While the crash in oil prices is certainly cause for concern when it comes to energy stocks, it is also affording brave investors the opportunity to buy into companies at reduced rates, and Ken Griffin‘s Citadel Investment Group is one of the companies taking advantage of this. Citadel disclosed in a recent filing with the SEC that they have upped their stake in Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX) to 8.57 million shares, accounting for 6.2% of that company’s common shares. That’s an increase of 3.39 million shares.
Citadel Investment Group is one of the largest hedge funds in the world, with an equity portfolio that was valued at a staggering $79.77 billion as of September 30. The fund was launched in 1990 by Griffin, with assets under management of just $4.2 million. With nearly 1,000 employees and offices in 10 cities around the world, the fund now has assets under management surpassing $100 billion. In 2008, Griffin was one of the first 14 hedge fund managers to be deservedly inducted into the Institutional Investor’s Alpha Hedge Fund Hall of Fame.
Interestingly, it appears Citadel sold off a large chunk of their shares briefly, before their most recent move to invest even heavier. We reported in early November that they had increased their position in Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX) to 7.28 million shares from the 2.58 million they had reported on September 30. However their recent filing dated to December 30 indicates they sold 2.1 million of those shares between then and the end of the year, as oil prices worsened and the stock was just about to have its roughest stretch, falling 33% from late November to the middle of December.
Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE:NFX)’s stock has since rebounded to gain 33% back from those December lows, and with oil prices widely assumed to have bottomed out (though not necessarily set to rebound in any significant way for some time), Ken Griffin clearly feels the time is right to make a big move into this stock. Nor is it the only energy stock he’s shown interest in at such depleted values.