Tesoro Corporation (TSO): Are Hedgies Buying or Selling?

Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) is an independent petroleum refinery and marketer of petroleum products. The company has seven refineries in the United States where it refines crude oil into transportation fuels like gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and other downstream products. Tesoro Corporation sells these products in the wholesale, retail as well as bulk markets. The company has a retail operation spanning 18 states and 1,175 retail stations. The company sells gasoline and other products under Tesoro, Shell and USA Gasoline brands. Refining capacity is almost 850,000 barrels per day.

The mood among hedge fund managers is very optimistic about the company.

Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO)

Hedge-fund activity in Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO)

At Q3′s end, 49 hedge funds were long in this stock, a 2-percent increase from the second quarter. With the smart money’s capital changing hands, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies followed by Insider Monkey, D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw had the most valuable position in Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO), worth close to $227.6 million, accounting for 0.4 percent of its total 13F portfolio, the fund manager increased the invested amount by almost 54 percent in the third quarter. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is SAC Capital Advisors, managed by Steven Cohen, which held a $138-million position; 0.7 percent of its portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other members of the smart money that are bullish comprise Israel Englander’s Millennium Management, Robert Pohly’s Samlyn Capital and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Group.

As one would reasonably expect, specific money managers have been driving this bullishness. Blue Mountain Capital, managed by Andrew Feldstein and Stephen Siderow, assembled the biggest position in Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO). Blue Mountain Capital had $65.5 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global also initiated a $31.8-million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new TSO investors: Clint Carlson’s Carlson Capital, Bruce Kovner’s Caxton Associates LP, and Millennium Management Subsidiary’s Decade Capital Management.

What have insiders been doing with Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO)?

Tracking insider trading is important as it shows how confident the insiders are about the company. Over the latest six-month time period, Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) has experienced one unique insider purchase and four insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Peer analysis is an important parameter to understand the company’s relative standing as compared to its peers. Let’s examine hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO). These stocks are CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI), Ultrapar Participacoes SA (ADR) (NYSE:UGP), Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR), HollyFrontier Corp (NYSE:HFC), and Access Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:ACMP). These stocks are in the oil and gas refining and marketing industry and their market caps are similar to TSO’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI) 17 0 0
Ultrapar Participacoes SA (ADR) (NYSE:UGP) 10 0 0
Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) 28 1 9
HollyFrontier Corp (NYSE:HFC) 24 2 1
Access Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:ACMP) 6 1 1

Tesoro Corporation (NYSE:TSO) has a better standing than its peers among hedge-fund managers. With 28 fund managers reposing faith in it, Murphy Oil Corporation comes a distant second, though it is favored by insiders.


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