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By Hioara Dumitru

Hirzel Capital Management is a hedge fund headquartered in

Dallas, Texas that has an equity portfolio eclipsing $280 million according to the latest Q1 13F report here. Hirzel Capital is one of the 500 elite hedge funds we track.

Why pay attention?

It's important to track hedge fund sentiment, because on the whole, their best picks have been shown to outperform the market by 18 percentage points a year. Best of all, retail investors can capitalize on this phenomenon, but they have to know where to look first. Learn the secrets of this strategy here.

Numero Uno

Smithfield Foods (NYSE:SFD) takes the first place of the rankings after being the second-biggest player in the 13F portfolio at the end of the previous quarter. The company grew its amount of shares by 337,965 to 1,137,413. In terms of value of the equity, the growth was expressed by a net 74.66% increase, lifting the dollar amount to $30.119 million, which means that now the meat production company accounts for over 10.52% of the total value of Hirzel Capital Management's 13F portfolio. Smithfield Foods shows good pace in terms of price movement with a 26.11% appreciation on a 52-week basis. The company also trades at a trailing P/E ratio of 16.65 while having a forward P/E of 9.94, indicating future positive prospects in terms of earnings. The stock has a diluted EPS (trailing) of $1.53 and positive quarterly growth rates on year-to-year basis on both revenue and earnings.

The best of the rest

Next in the portfolio we find the agricultural equipment production company AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), with a share value of 424,130, increasing by 112,000 shares. This position's value grew by 44.18% to reach $22.1 million by the end of the first quarter. The company's stock trades at a high beta of 2.17 and the price has climbed in the last 52 weeks by 29.30%. The company's profit margin is 5.15% while quarterly revenues grew by 5.70% compared with the previous year.

GenCorp (GY) is third, and is specialized in manufacturing aerospace and defense products. The number of shares increased by 10,000 to 1,601,955, while the position's dollar value reached $21.3 million, advancing 46.27%. The company trades at a forward P/E ratio of 17.51 and a beta 1.74. A quarterly revenue growth rate of 20.70% is a positive sign, and analysts are generally bullish on the stock, both of which who have initiated coverage hold buy ratings.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC), the previous leader, slipped to the 4th spot in the fund's 13F portfolio ranking. The value of the position rose by 11.45% to set a level of $19.8 million, and the stock trades at a trailing P/E ratio of 5.53 and a forward estimate of 9.52. A beta of 1.02 indicates a high correlation with the market, though its price has climbed by 95.30% over the past 12 months.

The independent petroleum refining and marketing company Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) closes this list; its stake has decreased by 2,800 shares to a total of 419,611, while its dollar value jumped by 32.44% to $19.1 million. Valero's stock sports a trailing P/E ratio of 6.73, which is just slightly below its forward P/E rate. With a beta of 2.06 and significant price advancement during the last 52 weeks of 85.53%, the stock seems to be a bet on a continued bull market, so we'll continue to watch it moving forward.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Business relationship disclosure: This article is written by Insider Monkey's writer, Hioara Dumitru, and edited by Jake Mann. 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.