Hedge Funds Are Dumping SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM) – Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (ADR) (NYSE:MBT)

SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM) was in 13 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. SKM shareholders have witnessed a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers recently. There were 17 hedge funds in our database with SKM positions at the end of the previous quarter.

SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM)

In the financial world, there are tons of gauges market participants can use to watch the equity markets. Some of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top investment managers can outperform the broader indices by a significant margin (see just how much).

Equally as integral, optimistic insider trading sentiment is a second way to break down the stock market universe. As the old adage goes: there are a number of stimuli for an upper level exec to cut shares of his or her company, but only one, very clear reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various empirical studies have demonstrated the valuable potential of this tactic if “monkeys” understand what to do (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, let’s take a gander at the latest action regarding SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM).

What have hedge funds been doing with SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track were long in this stock, a change of -24% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of notable hedge fund managers who were upping their holdings substantially.

According to our comprehensive database, Orbis Investment Management, managed by William B. Gray, holds the most valuable position in SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM). Orbis Investment Management has a $160 million position in the stock, comprising 1.6% of its 13F portfolio. On Orbis Investment Management’s heels is Charles de Vaulx of International Value Advisers, with a $40 million position; 0% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds with similar optimism include Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell’s Arrowstreet Capital, Jeffrey Vinik’s Vinik Asset Management and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management.

Seeing as SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM) has experienced bearish sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s safe to say that there is a sect of hedgies that elected to cut their full holdings heading into 2013. At the top of the heap, Francis Chou’s Chou Associates Management sold off the largest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we track, valued at about $2 million in stock.. Charles Clough’s fund, Clough Capital Partners, also sold off its stock, about $2 million worth. These moves are important to note, as total hedge fund interest dropped by 4 funds heading into 2013.

Insider trading activity in SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM)

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is at its handiest when the company we’re looking at has seen transactions within the past six months. Over the last half-year time period, SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM) has experienced zero unique insiders buying, and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also review hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM). These stocks are Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (ADR) (NYSE:MBT), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), TIM Participacoes SA (ADR) (NYSE:TSU), VimpelCom Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:VIP), and Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (ADR) (NYSE:TKC). This group of stocks are the members of the wireless communications industry and their market caps resemble SKM’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (ADR) (NYSE:MBT) 11 0 0
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) 49 1 3
TIM Participacoes SA (ADR) (NYSE:TSU) 9 0 0
VimpelCom Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:VIP) 8 0 0
Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (ADR) (NYSE:TKC) 5 0 0

With the returns demonstrated by our research, everyday investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and SK Telecom Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:SKM) applies perfectly to this mantra.