Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP): Insiders Are Dumping, Should You?

Is Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) a marvelous investment today? The best stock pickers are buying. The number of bullish hedge fund bets went up by 6 lately.

In today’s marketplace, there are many methods market participants can use to monitor stocks. Two of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the best picks of the top fund managers can outclass the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see just how much).

PAULSON & COEqually as integral, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are many stimuli for an insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would initiate a purchase. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this method if shareholders understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action encompassing Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP).

How have hedgies been trading Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 37 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 19% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, holds the most valuable position in Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP). Paulson & Co has a $601 million position in the stock, comprising 3.7% of its 13F portfolio. On Paulson & Co’s heels is Robert Emil Zoellner of Alpine Associates, with a $178 million position; 3.7% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedgies that are bullish include Sean Cullinan’s Point State Capital, and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

As industrywide interest jumped, key hedge funds have been driving this bullishness. Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, created the most outsized position in Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP). Paulson & Co had 601 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Robert Emil Zoellner’s Alpine Associates also initiated a $178 million position during the quarter. The other funds with new positions in the stock are Matthew Halbower’s Pentwater Capital Management, James Dinan’s York Capital Management, and George Soros’s Soros Fund Management.

How are insiders trading Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP)?

Insider buying is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

With the returns exhibited by our studies, retail investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading sentiment, and Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 29.2% between September 2012 and February 2013 versus 8.7% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.