A little more than a year ago, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against numerous officers, directors and significant shareholders for violating federal securities laws after failing to file Form 4, 13D and 13G filings in a timely manner. This example provides evidence that the SEC keeps a close eye on these filings and attempts to enforce its deadline requirements. This is great news for individual investors who use these public filings as part of their stock picking process. Unlike 13Fs, the aforementioned filings tend to disclose fresh and up-to-date insights about hedge funds’ most prominent stances on different companies. The following article will discuss three such filings submitted with the SEC by several hedge funds monitored by Insider Monkey and the performance of the companies in question.
Let’s first take a step back and analyze how tracking hedge funds can help an everyday investor. Through our research we discovered that a portfolio of the 15 most popular small-cap picks of hedge funds beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index by nearly a percentage point per month on average between 1999 and 2012. On the other hand the most popular large-cap picks of hedge funds underperformed the same index by seven basis points per month during the same period. This is likely a surprise to many investors, who think of small-caps as risky, unpredictable stocks and put more faith (and money) in large-cap stocks. In forward tests since August 2012 these top small-cap stocks beat the market by an impressive 53 percentage points, returning 102% (read the details here). Follow the smart money into only their best investment ideas all while avoiding their high fees.
In a recent 13G filing, George Soros’ Soros Fund Management reported a new stake of 1.40 million shares in Hercules Offshore Inc. (OTCMKTS:HEROQ), which accounts for 7.02% of the company’s outstanding common stock. The provider of shallow-water drilling and marine services to the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August to execute a $1.2 billion debt-for-equity swap with its noteholders as part of its financial restructuring. Earlier this month, Hercules Offshore Inc. (OTCMKTS:HEROQ) announced that the financial restructuring was completed and the company emerged from Chapter 11. Under the restructuring plan implemented by the company, Hercules exchanged its outstanding senior notes for 96.9% of the company’s common stock that was issued in the reorganization and raised $450 million of first lien debt with a maturity of 4.5 years and a bearing interest at LIBOR plus 9.5% per annum. The demand for Hercules Offshore’s oilfield services is mainly driven by its customers’ capital spending. However, the low oil-price environment has substantially reduced the demand for the company’s services, so it might take a while before the company gets back on track.
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Let’s head to the next page, where we discuss two separate filings submitted by activist Sandell Asset Management and Aisling Capital.