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Is California Resources Corporation (CRC) A Good Stock To Buy Now?

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The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We have processed the filings of the more than 866 world-class investment firms that we track and now have access to the collective wisdom contained in these filings, which are based on their March 31st holdings, data that is available nowhere else. Should you consider California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC) for your portfolio? We'll look to this invaluable collective wisdom for the answer.

Is CRC a good stock to buy? California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC) has experienced an increase in support from the world's most elite money managers lately. California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC) was in 23 hedge funds' portfolios at the end of March. The all time high for this statistic is 20. This means the bullish number of hedge fund positions in this stock currently sits at its all time high. Our calculations also showed that CRC isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings).

In the eyes of most market participants, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, old financial vehicles of years past. While there are over 8000 funds in operation at the moment, Our researchers hone in on the crème de la crème of this group, about 850 funds. Most estimates calculate that this group of people manage most of the hedge fund industry's total asset base, and by watching their finest investments, Insider Monkey has identified many investment strategies that have historically beaten the market. Insider Monkey's flagship short hedge fund strategy outrun the S&P 500 short ETFs by around 20 percentage points a year since its inception in March 2017. Also, our monthly newsletter's portfolio of long stock picks returned 206.8% since March 2017 (through May 2021) and beat the S&P 500 Index by more than 115 percentage points. You can download a sample issue of this newsletter on our website .

Steven Tananbaum - GoldenTree Asset Management
Steven Tananbaum - GoldenTree Asset Management

Steven Tananbaum of GoldenTree Asset Management

At Insider Monkey, we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, Chuck Schumer recently stated that marijuana legalization will be a Senate priority. So, we are checking out this under the radar stock that will benefit from this. We go through lists like the 10 best battery stocks to pick the next Tesla that will deliver a 10x return. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our homepage. With all of this in mind we're going to take a gander at the new hedge fund action surrounding California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC).

Do Hedge Funds Think CRC Is A Good Stock To Buy Now?

At first quarter's end, a total of 23 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a change of 15% from the previous quarter. By comparison, 0 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in CRC a year ago. So, let's find out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Among these funds, GoldenTree Asset Management held the most valuable stake in California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC), which was worth $462.6 million at the end of the fourth quarter. On the second spot was Millennium Management which amassed $44.1 million worth of shares. Encompass Capital Advisors, Orbis Investment Management, and Slate Path Capital were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position GoldenTree Asset Management allocated the biggest weight to California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC), around 20.91% of its 13F portfolio. Elm Ridge Capital is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 3.91 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to CRC.

As aggregate interest increased, specific money managers were breaking ground themselves. Intrinsic Edge Capital, managed by Mark Coe, established the largest position in California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC). Intrinsic Edge Capital had $3.6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. John Overdeck and David Siegel's Two Sigma Advisors also initiated a $1.6 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new CRC investors: Ben Levine, Andrew Manuel and Stefan Renold's LMR Partners, Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management, and Ryan Tolkin (CIO)'s Schonfeld Strategic Advisors.

Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC). We will take a look at Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE:PIPR), Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida (NASDAQ:SBCF), Itau CorpBanca (NYSE:ITCB), Patrick Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:PATK), Revance Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:RVNC), Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (NYSE:RCUS), and Industrias Bachoco, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:IBA). All of these stocks' market caps are similar to CRC's market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position PIPR,12,48846,0 SBCF,9,38337,5 ITCB,2,2047,1 PATK,14,119676,-4 RVNC,10,144559,-2 RCUS,27,375730,-4 IBA,2,30096,0 Average,10.9,108470,-0.6 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 10.9 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $108 million. That figure was $603 million in CRC's case. Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (NYSE:RCUS) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Itau CorpBanca (NYSE:ITCB) is the least popular one with only 2 bullish hedge fund positions. California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC) is not the most popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still above average. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for CRC is 80. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 5 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 95.8% in 2019 and 2020, and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 40 percentage points. These stocks gained 23.8% in 2021 through July 16th and still beat the market by 7.7 percentage points. Hedge funds were also right about betting on CRC, though not to the same extent, as the stock returned 9.8% since Q1 (through July 16th) and outperformed the market as well.

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Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.