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Should You Avoid International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (THM)?

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Is International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM) a cheap investment right now? The smart money is getting less bullish. The number of bullish hedge fund bets were trimmed by 1 recently.

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According to most stock holders, hedge funds are seen as underperforming, old financial vehicles of yesteryear. While there are greater than 8000 funds with their doors open at the moment, we at Insider Monkey look at the aristocrats of this group, about 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group controls the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by watching their highest performing investments, we have unearthed a number of investment strategies that have historically beaten Mr. Market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve started sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have topped the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (explore the details and some picks here).

Just as integral, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the marketplace. Just as you’d expect, there are a variety of reasons for an upper level exec to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would buy. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this strategy if piggybackers know where to look (learn more here).

Consequently, we’re going to take a look at the recent action surrounding International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM).

What does the smart money think about International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 5 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -17% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes considerably.

Of the funds we track, Paulson & Co, managed by John Paulson, holds the most valuable position in International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM). Paulson & Co has a $19.4 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Weiss Asset Management, managed by Andrew Weiss, which held a $4.2 million position; 2.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Remaining peers with similar optimism include Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates, Jim Simons’s Renaissance Technologies and D. E. Shaw’s D E Shaw.

Since International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the smart money, it’s safe to say that there lies a certain “tier” of hedgies that decided to sell off their full holdings at the end of the year. Interestingly, Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors said goodbye to the biggest position of the “upper crust” of funds we watch, worth about $0.1 million in stock. These transactions are interesting, as aggregate hedge fund interest was cut by 1 funds at the end of the year.

What have insiders been doing with International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM)?

Insider buying is best served when the company in focus has seen transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest six-month time period, International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and 1 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also take a look at hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to International Tower Hill Mines Ltd(USA] (NYSEAMEX:THM). These stocks are Richmont Mines Inc. (USA) (NYSEAMEX:RIC), Comstock Mining, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:LODE), Brigus Gold Corp (USA) (NYSEAMEX:BRD), Vista Gold Corp. (NYSEAMEX:VGZ), and Midway Gold Corp (USA) (NYSEAMEX:MDW). This group of stocks are in the gold industry and their market caps are similar to THM’s market cap.

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