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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX) – Energy XXI (Bermuda) Limited (NASDAQ:EXXI), Lufkin Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LUFK)

Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX) was in 11 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. HLX has experienced a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers recently. There were 13 hedge funds in our database with HLX holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX)

In the eyes of most investors, hedge funds are viewed as slow, outdated financial tools of yesteryear. While there are more than 8000 funds with their doors open today, we at Insider Monkey look at the moguls of this club, close to 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on the lion’s share of the smart money’s total asset base, and by monitoring their top equity investments, we have revealed a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (check out a sample of our picks).

Equally as key, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to parse down the stock market universe. There are a variety of reasons for an insider to sell shares of his or her company, but only one, very obvious reason why they would buy. Many empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a look at the recent action encompassing Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX).

What does the smart money think about Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -15% from the previous quarter. With hedge funds’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their stakes considerably.

According to our comprehensive database, Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management had the largest position in Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX), worth close to $42 million, comprising 0.2% of its total 13F portfolio. On AQR Capital Management’s heels is Millennium Management, managed by Israel Englander, which held a $24 million position; the fund has 0.1% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Other hedgies that are bullish include Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw and Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies.

Due to the fact that Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX) has faced bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there is a sect of hedgies that decided to sell off their entire stakes heading into 2013. Intriguingly, Ben Levine, Andrew Manuel and Stefan Renold’s LMR Partners said goodbye to the largest investment of the 450+ funds we watch, worth about $0 million in stock.. Robert Rodriguez and Steven Romick’s fund, First Pacific Advisors LLC, also sold off its stock, about $0 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 2 funds heading into 2013.

What do corporate executives and insiders think about Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time frame, Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and 6 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX). These stocks are CARBO Ceramics Inc. (NYSE:CRR), Energy XXI (Bermuda) Limited (NASDAQ:EXXI), Forum Energy Technologies Inc (NYSE:FET), Lufkin Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LUFK), and Precision Drilling Corp (USA) (NYSE:PDS). This group of stocks are in the oil & gas equipment & services industry and their market caps are closest to HLX’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
CARBO Ceramics Inc. (NYSE:CRR) 13 1 1
Energy XXI (Bermuda) Limited (NASDAQ:EXXI) 21 5 5
Forum Energy Technologies Inc (NYSE:FET) 6 1 9
Lufkin Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:LUFK) 9 0 0
Precision Drilling Corp (USA) (NYSE:PDS) 13 0 0

With the results shown by Insider Monkey’s research, everyday investors must always monitor hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE:HLX) is no exception.