This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) – ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Ecopetrol S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:EC)

Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) investors should pay attention to a decrease in hedge fund interest in recent months.

At the moment, there are a multitude of metrics investors can use to watch Mr. Market. A duo of the most under-the-radar 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 hedge fund managers can trounce the market by a significant margin (see just how much).

Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)

Just as integral, positive insider trading activity is a second way to parse down the world of equities. There are plenty of motivations for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Plenty of empirical studies have demonstrated the useful potential of this strategy if piggybackers know what to do (learn more here).

Now, let’s take a look at the latest action regarding Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO).

How are hedge funds trading Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)?

At year’s end, a total of 11 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of 0% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a few noteworthy hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Andrew Hall’s Astenbeck Capital Management had the largest position in Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO), worth close to $57 million, comprising 10% of its total 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies, with a $24 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other peers that hold long positions include Roger Keith Long’s Otter Creek Management, David Dreman’s Dreman Value Management and Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors.

Since Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) has witnessed declining sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there were a few money managers that decided to sell off their full holdings in Q4. At the top of the heap, Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital sold off the biggest investment of the 450+ funds we monitor, worth about $35 million in stock.. Louis Navellier’s fund, Navellier & Associates, also sold off its stock, about $0 million worth. These bearish behaviors are important to note, as aggregate hedge fund interest stayed the same (this is a bearish signal in our experience).

Insider trading activity in Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO)

Bullish insider trading is most useful when the company we’re looking at has experienced transactions within the past six months. Over the latest half-year time frame, Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) has seen zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO). These stocks are Eni SpA (ADR) (NYSE:E), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNP), and Ecopetrol S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:EC). This group of stocks belong to the major integrated oil & gas industry and their market caps resemble STO’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Eni SpA (ADR) (NYSE:E) 6 0 0
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) 36 0 2
Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) 49 1 0
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNP) 8 0 0
Ecopetrol S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:EC) 3 0 0

With the results demonstrated by the aforementioned time-tested strategies, retail investors should always watch hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Statoil ASA (ADR) (NYSE:STO) is no exception.

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