Most Popular Energy Stocks Among Hedge Fund Stocks

by: Insider Monkey

By Matt Doiron

We have put together our database of 13F filings from nearly 450 hedge funds and other notable investors following the remaining filings being made public earlier this month. This wave of 13Fs disclose long equity positions as of the end of December 2012. Even with the delay, we've developed investing strategies based on 13F activity, which can be extremely profitable; for example, the most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds produced an excess return of 18 percentage points per year over a 10-year period (see the list of these stocks and their returns since September). We also like to look at which stocks hedge funds like in different sectors. Here are the 10 most popular energy stocks:

The energy stock that the largest number of filers in our database reported owning was Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), a $42 billion market cap oil, gas, and natural gas liquids company. 62 hedge funds reported a position in Anadarko. One of these was billionaire Ken Griffin's Citadel Investment Group, which increased its holdings by 56% between October and December to a total of 3.5 million shares. Anadarko trades at 16 times consensus earnings for next year.

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), an oilfield services company, had 55 hedge funds report a position- about even with the number who did for the third quarter of 2012. Fisher Asset Management, managed by billionaire Ken Fisher, had 7.8 million shares of Schlumberger in its portfolio. While Schlumberger's revenue was up moderately last quarter compared to the same period in 2011, earnings were down.

Fifty-four hedge funds and other notable investors owned supermajor Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), down from 59 at the end of September. Exxon Mobil- which at one point briefly overtook Apple to become the largest publicly traded U.S. company by market cap- is one of the top picks in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust's portfolio (see the foundation's top picks).

Acquisition target Nexen (NXY) was owned by 52 filers in our database, with others which we had previously recorded selling as the gap between the transaction price and the market price narrowed during the quarter as the proposed deal overcame Canadian regulatory hurdles.

We tracked 50 hedge funds who owned shares of Schlumberger's smaller peer, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL); Halliburton had actually been slightly more popular in our analysis for the third quarter, but was sold more frequently over the next three months. Billionaire Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors closed 2012 with 3.8 million shares in its portfolio.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) was another popular energy stock among hedge funds, with a small number of sales bringing it to 49 filers. One fund which was adding shares was Renaissance Technologies, founded by billionaire Jim Simons; Renaissance nearly doubled its stake to a total of 2.1 million shares.

Forty-seven hedge funds and other notable investors owned Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO), the same number that did at the beginning of October. AQR Capital Management was buying the stock in Q4 2012 and reported owning 1.1 million shares in the 13f filing; AQR is managed by Cliff Asness.

Our database showed that National-Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), an equipment and services company, which includes drilling rigs among its offerings, was owned by 43 filers that we track. One of these was Berkshire Hathaway; Warren Buffett's holding company, which reported a position of 5.3 million shares (research Buffett's favorite stocks).

Fifty hedge funds had owned shares of BP at the end of the third quarter, but that figure had fallen to 42 by the beginning of 2013. Seth Klarman's Baupost Group sold a small number of shares ; BP was still that hedge fund's top stock pick.

Joining BP at the bottom of the top-10 list, with 42 13F filers in our database reporting a position, was fellow supermajor Chevron (NYSE:CVX). D.E. Shaw - named after its founder, billionaire David Shaw - was one fund with a large position in Chevron.

Disclosure: I am long HAL.

Business relationship disclosure: This article is written by Insider Monkey's writer, Matt Doiron, and edited by Meena Krishnamsetty. They don't have any business relationships with any of the companies mentioned in this article and they didn't receive compensation (other than from Insider Monkey and Seeking Alpha) to write this article.