Sunday, August 21, 2011

What Are Hedge Fund Managers Buying Amid Falling Prices.....Ensco and Schlumberger

Hedge funds bought $1.6 billion of shares in two oil-services companies in the second quarter as analysts said a drilling boom in the U.S. may spread overseas, helping reverse a slump in the companies’ stock prices.
Ensco Plc (ESV) and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) received the most new investment by hedge funds of all energy companies, beating producers such as Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO), according to calculations by Bloomberg from regulatory filings this week. MHR Fund Management LLC, Vinik Asset Management LP and SAC Capital Advisors LP topped the list of buyers.

Oil companies have to boost drilling in expanding areas of the world such as in Asia and off the coasts of Brazil and West Africa to meet growing energy demand. Drilling for crude and natural gas in North America increased at five times the pace of the rest of the world in the past year.

“International has yet to really inflect, but we’re beginning to see some progress on that front,” said Bill Herbert, an analyst at Simmons & Co. in Houston, who has an “overweight” rating on Schlumberger and Ensco. “You’re going to see meaningful growth on international, deepwater and exploration-related activity.”
New York based MHR acquired $325 million of Ensco stock based on June 30 prices, and Vinik of Boston added $137 million of Schlumberger shares, the filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington show.

MHR Managing Principal Hal Goldstein didn’t respond to a phone message seeking comment. An executive at Vinik who asked not to be named said the firm never comments to the media......Read the entire article.

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