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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP)

Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the first quarter of 2013. ETP investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest of late. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with ETP holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE)At the moment, there are a multitude of metrics shareholders can use to monitor their holdings. Some of the most useful are hedge fund and insider trading activity. At Insider Monkey, our research analyses have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top money managers can trounce the S&P 500 by a solid margin (see just how much).

Equally as key, optimistic insider trading activity is a second way to break down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are plenty of motivations for a bullish insider to downsize shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would buy. Many academic studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if investors know what to do (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action encompassing Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP).

How are hedge funds trading Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP)?

Heading into Q2, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings significantly.

According to our comprehensive database, OZ Management, managed by Daniel S. Och, holds the most valuable position in Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP). OZ Management has a $86.4 million position in the stock, comprising 0.3% of its 13F portfolio. The second largest stake is held by Driehaus Capital, managed by Richard Driehaus, which held a $13.3 million position; the fund has 0.6% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers that are bullish include Dmitry Balyasny’s Balyasny Asset Management, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and Jean-Marie Eveillard’s First Eagle Investment Management.

Judging by the fact that Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) has witnessed a declination in interest from the smart money, logic holds that there exists a select few hedge funds that decided to sell off their entire stakes in Q1. Interestingly, Daniel S. Och’s OZ Management dropped the biggest stake of the 450+ funds we key on, worth about $27.8 million in call options, and Louis Bacon of Moore Global Investments was right behind this move, as the fund cut about $8.6 million worth. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

How have insiders been trading Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest half-year time frame, Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP). These stocks are Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE:SE), Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYSE:MMP), Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE:PAA), Oneok Partners LP (NYSE:OKS), and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE:ETE). This group of stocks belong to the oil & gas pipelines industry and their market caps match ETP’s market cap.