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Oil Bull Andrew Hall’s Top Energy Picks; Buys Back Pioneer, EOG

#2 Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD)

– Number of shares owned by Astenbeck as of March 31: 150,545

– Value of Astenbeck’s stake as of March 31: $21.18 Million

Another newcomer to Mr. Hall’s equity portfolio during the first quarter was Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), which saw the fund acquire 150,545 shares, becoming one of the top 20 hedge fund investors in the company – among those we track. It should be noted that, same as in the case above, the firm has previously held a position in the company, which was closed out during the fourth quarter of 2015. Despite a 73% reduction in its exposure, Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global remained that largest stockholder in our database, with 2.55 million shares, worth almost $360 million by March 31. Among new stakes, the largest was initiated by John Labanowski’s Brenham Capital Management; the fund acquired 650,000 shares of Pioneer over the January to March period. Interestingly, since the period ended, the shares have gained more than 17.5%, mostly thanks to a large earnings beat in late April, when the company reported a net loss of ($0.64) per share, $0.11 smaller than the Street expected. In other news, CEO Scott Sheffield announced on Thursday that he will retire by the end of 2016, leaving his spot to COO Timothy Dove.

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#1 Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY)

– Number of shares owned by Astenbeck as of March 31: 980,000

– Value of Astenbeck’s stake as of March 31: $67 Million

Finally, there’s Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), which remained in the same place in Hall’s list as in the previous quarter after a 9% increase in the firm’s position. The stake accounted for more than 60% of Astenbeck’s first quarter equity portfolio, making it, in a sense, the most committed institutional investor – no other large money management firm has such a large chunk of its assets invested in the company. However, a few firms held much larger stakes in terms of value. Among them, we can count Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s First Pacific Advisors LLC, with 3.44 million shares, and John A. Levin’s Levin Capital Strategies, with 2.86 million shares. Since the first quarter ended, Occidental Petroleum’s stock has gained almost 10%, helped by recuperating oil prices and a raise in its 2016 production growth guidance from 2%-4% to 4%-6%. Over the past couple of days, the company has received more attention than usual on rumors that it might acquire Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) for $25 billion or more.

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any of the securities mentioned above.

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