Hedge Funds Are Selling Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML)

Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML) was in 17 hedge funds’ portfolio at the end of December. ATML shareholders have witnessed a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers in recent months. There were 18 hedge funds in our database with ATML holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

Atmel Corporation (ATML)According to most stock holders, hedge funds are viewed as worthless, outdated investment tools of the past. While there are over 8000 funds trading at the moment, we at Insider Monkey look at the masters of this club, around 450 funds. It is estimated that this group has its hands on most of the hedge fund industry’s total asset base, and by monitoring their top investments, we have revealed a few investment strategies that have historically outperformed the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outstripped the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points per annum for a decade in our back tests, and since we’ve began to sharing our picks with our subscribers at the end of August 2012, we have outpaced the S&P 500 index by 25 percentage points in 6.5 month (explore the details and some picks here).

Equally as key, optimistic insider trading activity is another way to parse 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 just one, very simple reason why they would behave bullishly. Several academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if you know what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a gander at the latest action encompassing Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML).

Hedge fund activity in Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML)

At the end of the fourth quarter, a total of 17 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of -6% from the previous quarter. With hedgies’ sentiment swirling, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully.

According to our comprehensive database, Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, holds the most valuable position in Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML). Citadel Investment Group has a $78 million position in the stock, comprising 0.1% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Omega Advisors, managed by Leon Cooperman, which held a $47 million position; 0% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Remaining peers with similar optimism include John Osterweis’s Osterweis Capital Management, Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management and Richard Chilton’s Chilton Investment Company.

Judging by the fact that Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML) has witnessed bearish sentiment from the aggregate hedge fund industry, it’s easy to see that there lies a certain “tier” of hedge funds that slashed their entire stakes last quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management cut the biggest stake of all the hedgies we track, worth close to $1 million in stock.. Ian P. Murray’s fund, Lanexa Global Management, also cut its stock, about $1 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest fell by 1 funds last quarter.

How have insiders been trading Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML)?

Insider purchases made by high-level executives is best served when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the latest 180-day time period, Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 3 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 Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML). These stocks are Cavium Inc (NASDAQ:CAVM), Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX), AU Optronics Corp. (ADR) (NYSE:AUO), Freescale Semiconductor Ltd (NYSE:FSL), and ON Semiconductor Corp (NASDAQ:ONNN). This group of stocks are in the semiconductor – broad line industry and their market caps are similar to ATML’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Cavium Inc (NASDAQ:CAVM) 18 0 4
Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ:MLNX) 21 0 8
AU Optronics Corp. (ADR) (NYSE:AUO) 6 0 0
Freescale Semiconductor Ltd (NYSE:FSL) 7 0 6
ON Semiconductor Corp (NASDAQ:ONNN) 15 0 5

With the returns exhibited by Insider Monkey’s tactics, retail investors must always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

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Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 37% between September 2012 and March 2013 versus 12.9% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.