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Leading funds such as Goldman Sachs Group, Citadel Advisors and Oaktree Capital Management filed forms 13-D and 13-G with the SEC on Wednesday through Friday, December 14th through 16th, indicating that they had amended their ownership in U.S. traded public companies. The forms are required to be filed within ten days, so the institutions traded these shares this month. Also, we have included here SEC Form 4 filings by Institutions that are considered corporate insiders by virtue of their holding more than 10% ownership, and in many cases having representation on the Board of Directors. The following are the most notable filings from Wednesday through Friday (for more info on Forms 13-D and 13-G, and how to interpret that, please refer to the end of this article):

Active Power Inc. (ACPW): ACPW manufactures flywheel-based uninterruptible power supply systems to generate short-term backup electricity. On Friday, Kinderhook Partners, a corporate insider by virtue of their 10% plus ownership in the company, reported that they purchased 376,616 shares for $0.2 million, ending the week with 8.8 million or 11.0% of the outstanding shares of ACPW. This is in addition to the 302,733 shares that they purchased in late November and early December, so that overall Kinderhook has purchased 0.68 million shares in the last four weeks. For Lee, NJ-based Kinderhook Partners is a venture capital and private equity firm specializing in small public companies such as ACPW, and also in private companies. They invest across a wide range of industries, and typically make investments between $5 and $20 million. ACPW shares have been very week this year, falling almost three-quarters YTD and trading at its lows currently on account of unimpressive operating results during the last few quarters, so the insider buys by institutional insider Kinderhook Capital could be interpreted as an indication that shares are likely near a bottom here.

Superior Energy Services (SPN): SPN provides specialized oilfield services and equipment for the production and drilling needs of oil and gas companies. On Friday, Chicago-based hedge fund manager Citadel Advisors, with over $20 billion in equity assets and led by Kenneth Griffin, filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that they now hold 4.6 million or 5.7% of outstanding shares, an increase 3.5 million shares from the 1.1 million shares that they held at the time of their 13-F Q3 filing. This makes them the third largest institutional holder of SPN, behind Fidelity Investments (9.2%) and Lord Abbett & Co. (6.8%). SPN in undervalued, and trades at a discount current 9 forward P/E and 1.5 P/B compared to averages of 13.3 and 2.2 for the oil field machinery & equipment group, while earnings are projected to almost double from $1.55 in 2010 to $3.08 in 2012.

EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO): EXCO is an independent oil and natural gas company, engaged in the exploration, exploitation, development and production of onshore North American oil and natural gas properties with a focus on shale resource plays. On Friday, Los Angeles-based deep value hedge fund Oaktree Capital Management, with over $60 billion in assets under management and founded by Howard Marks and Bruce Karsh, filed SEC Form 4 indicating that it purchased 2.0 million shares of XCO, adding to the 34.8 million shares it held at the time of its 13-F Q3 filing. With 36.8 million or 17.1% of outstanding shares, Oaktree is the largest institutional holder of XCO by far; the next largest is Invesco Private Capital (12.9%). EXCO trades at a discount 11-12 forward P/E and 1.2 P/B compared to averages of 23.1 and 5.3 for its peers in the U.S. oil & gas exploration & production group, while earnings are projected to rocket up from 53c in 2010 to 87c in 2012 at an annual growth rate of 28.1%.

Jaguar Mining Inc. (JAG): JAG is a Canadian company engaged in the exploration, development and extraction of gold in Minas Gerais, Brazil. On Friday, Darien, CT-based basic materials focused hedge fund BI Partners filed SEC Form SC 13G indicating that they now hold 7.1 million or 8.5% of the outstanding shares, an increase of 2.2 million shares from the 4.9 million shares they held at the time of their 13-F Q3 filing. This makes them the second largest institutional holder of JAG shares, behind Capital Research Global Investors that holds 8.4 million or 9.9% of the outstanding shares. JAG trades at current 27 P/E and 1.8 P/B compared to averages of 24.9 and 2.2 respectively for small-cap gold miners, while earnings are projected to double from 26c in 2011 to 54c in 2012.

DHT Holdings Corp. (DHT): DHT operates a fleet of double-hull crude oil tankers on international routes. On Wednesday, New York-based hedge fund MMI investments, run by Clay Lifflander, filed SEC Form 13 D/A indicating that they now hold 4.4 million or 6.8% of the outstanding shares of DHT, a decrease of 1.6 million shares from the 6.0 million shares they owned at the time of their 13-F Q3 filing last month. MMI investments has been described as having the “buyout touch” because of its having owned positions in several companies prior to their buyout. DHT has been in a free fall, down 85% year-to-date, and it trades at a steep discount 8-9 forward P/E and 0.2 P/B compared to averages of 76.4 and 1.2 for the shipping group; however, earnings have been dropping off precipitously recently from $1.18 in 2008 to 15c in 2010 to a projected 8c in 2012.

Dollar General Corp. (DG): DG is a discount retailer of general merchandise items in the U.S., including highly consumable, seasonal, home products and basic clothing categories. On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs Group filed SEC Form 4 indicating that they sold 7.1 million shares of DG. Goldman held 46.4 million shares of DG at the time of their 13-F Q3 filing, so with the above sell, they still remain the largest institutional holder of DG, with 39.3 million or 11.7% of the outstanding shares, well ahead of the next largest institutional holder T Rowe Price that held 19.9 million shares at the time of their Q3 filing. DG currently trades at its highs, and is up by about 35% year-to-date, and it trades at 15 forward P/E and 3.1 P/B compared to averages of 15.3 and 3.7 for the discount retail group.

Glu Mobile Inc. (GLUU): GLUU designs original and third-party licensed mobile games for wireless handsets and social networking websites. On Friday, Dallas, TX-based Becker Drapkin Partners reported that it purchased 447,097 shares for $1.34 million, per a 10b5-1 plan, increasing its holdings to 1.66 million shares (direct and indirect). Becker Drapkin is an activist firm that focuses on beaten-down small-cap companies, with their most recent investments being in Physician Formula Holdings (FACE), Hot Topic Inc. (HOTT) and Navarre Corp. (NAVR).

General Discussion

Form 13-D is commonly referred to as “beneficial ownership report,” and is required when a person or a group of persons acquires beneficial ownership of more than 5% of the voting class of a company’s equity securities; form 13-G is the abbreviated version of the form that is allowed under certain circumstances.

The information in forms 13-D and 13-G is extremely timely as it is required to be filed within ten days after the purchase, in contrast to 13-F quarterly filings by Institutions that are filed every three months. The information contained in 13-F filings, thereby, can as much as eighteen weeks old by the time it is disseminated to the public. Furthermore, by virtue of their 5% ownership in public companies, the information contained in the 13-D and 13-G filings indicates only high confidence or high conviction moves by institutions and insiders, and hence can be interpreted to be of greater relevance to the investment community than the 13-F quarterly filings. Furthermore, 13-D and 13-G filings often are a precursor to hostile takeover, company breakups and other “change of control” events, and often they will include a letter to management explaining the reason for their taking a large stake in the company.

Credit: Fundamental data in this article were based on SEC filings, I-Metrix® by Edgar Online®, Zacks Investment Research, Thomson Reuters and Briefing.com. The information and data is believed to be accurate, but no guarantees or representations are made.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. Further, these are our ‘opinions’ and we may be wrong. We may have positions in securities mentioned in this article. You should take this into consideration before acting on any advice given in this article. If this makes you uncomfortable, then do not listen to our thoughts and opinions. The contents of this article do not take into consideration your individual investment objectives so consult with your own financial adviser before making an investment decision. Investing includes certain risks including loss of principal.

Source: Analysis Of Institutional 5% Ownership Filings Dec. 14 - 16