8 Energy Companies That Hedge Funds Are Insanely Bullish About

by: Insider Monkey

Oil prices are hovering around $100, and you may be thinking about investing in energy companies.

We follow hedge fund managers because they're the smartest investors around. They leave less to chance than most investors. They go great lengths to get an “edge” over ordinary investors. We follow corporate insiders because they have access to material, non-public information and they sometimes trade based on it. We also follow hedge fund managers because they have the resources to do extensive research on public companies and they have access to experts who can guide them. We believe we are more likely to beat the market by imitating insiders and hedge funds than trading against them. Based on the transactions of nearly 700 hedge funds, we compiled this list of top eight energy companies hedge funds were buying like crazy during the fourth quarter:

1. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM): More than 100 hedge funds snatched XOM. They own nearly $4 billion worth of Exxon Mobil shares. Even Warren Buffett has XOM in his stock portfolio.

2. Halliburton Co. (NYSE:HAL): Halliburton was owned by 85 hedge funds at the end of last year. They increased their holdings from 3% to 4% of the outstanding shares. T. Boone Pickens is extremely bullish about HAL.

3. Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE:SLB): Eighty-two hedge funds owned 2% of SLB in the second half of last year. Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital bought Schlumberger in the most recent fourth quarter and made more than 14% from his nearly $600 million bet. T. Boone Pickens also has SLB in his portfolio.

4. Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE:DVN): Hedge funds increased their position in (DVN) by 25% in the fourth quarter. The stock is also one of the positions that have helped T. Boone Pickens have a successful year so far. As of March 1st, it was one of the 23 stocks in the portfolio that returned 18% in 2011, beating the SPY by more than 12 percentage points. The stock is also one of Andreas Halvorsen’s largest 25 positions.

5. National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE:NOV): Seventy-seven stocks kept their share of NOV at 4% in the fourth quarter. NOV made T. Boone pickens $11 million recently by returning over 18%.

6. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:APC): Hedge funds increased their holdings by one percentage point to 9% of total outstanding APC shares. Anadarko is one of the 10 stocks hedge funds own the most of. It would take them six days to liquidate these positions. T. Boone Pickens has some Anadarko shares in his hedge fund.

7. Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX): Seventy-six hedge funds own 1% of CVX shares. In November, Chevron announced the $4.3 billion takeover of Atlas Energy.

8. Williams Cos Inc. (NYSE:WMB): This is one of Steven Cohen’s favorite stocks in 2011. There are 74 other hedge fund managers, including Daniel Loeb, who agree with Steven Cohen. They spent $1 billion during the fourth quarter to buy WMB shares. Now, hedge funds own 14% of outstanding shares.

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