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This Metric Says You Are Smart to Sell Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund sentiment lately. Earlier this morning, the entertainment and communications company was given a new “Neutral” mark at Robert W. Baird, so it’s particularly important to see what the Ken Fishers and the Ken Griffins of the world have been doing with CMCSA.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)

In the eyes of most stock holders, hedge funds are assumed to be underperforming, old financial tools of the past. While there are more than 8000 funds in operation at present, we look at the upper echelon of this group, around 450 funds. It is widely believed that this group oversees the majority of all hedge funds’ total asset base, and by keeping an eye on their best investments, we have deciphered a few investment strategies that have historically beaten the market. Our small-cap hedge fund strategy outperformed the S&P 500 index by 18 percentage points annually 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 outclassed the S&P 500 index by 24 percentage points in 7 months (see the details here).

Equally as key, bullish insider trading sentiment is another way to break down the world of equities. Just as you’d expect, there are lots of motivations for a corporate insider to sell shares of his or her company, but just one, very clear reason why they would behave bullishly. Several empirical studies have demonstrated the market-beating potential of this tactic if you know where to look (learn more here).

With these “truths” under our belt, it’s important to take a look at the key action encompassing Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA).

How are hedge funds trading Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)?

In preparation for this year, a total of 40 of the hedge funds we track were bullish in this stock, a change of -18% from the third quarter. With hedge funds’ positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few key hedge fund managers who were boosting their stakes significantly.

When looking at the hedgies we track, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management had the biggest position in Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), worth close to $451 million, accounting for 1.3% of its total 13F portfolio. On Fisher Asset Management’s heels is Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin, which held a $350 million position; the fund has 0.5% of its 13F portfolio invested in the stock. Some other peers with similar optimism include Paul Ruddockáand Steve Heinz’s Lansdowne Partners, Phill Gross and Robert Atchinson’s Adage Capital Management and Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global.

Due to the fact that Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has faced bearish sentiment from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there lies a certain “tier” of money managers that slashed their full holdings at the end of the year. Intriguingly, Jacob Doft’s Highline Capital Management dropped the biggest stake of the “upper crust” of funds we monitor, worth about $72 million in stock.. Michael Karsch’s fund, Karsch Capital Management, also sold off its stock, about $56 million worth. These moves are interesting, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 9 funds at the end of the year.

What have insiders been doing with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA)?

Insider trading activity, especially when it’s bullish, is particularly usable when the primary stock in question has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time period, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has experienced zero unique insiders purchasing, and 10 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). These stocks are Liberty Global Inc. (NASDAQ:LBTYA), Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC), Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV). This group of stocks are in the catv systems industry and their market caps resemble CMCSA’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Liberty Global Inc. (NASDAQ:LBTYA) 44 0 0
Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) 15 1 5
Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) 37 0 7
Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB) 49 0 0

With the results demonstrated by the aforementioned studies, everyday investors should always keep an eye on hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) applies perfectly to this mantra.

Click here to learn why you should track hedge funds