This is not really a significant development. Artisan Partners offers diversified mutual funds, their portfolios have many many stocks in them. While their position in PANL may have been large on a % of the free float basis, it was likely quite small as a percentage of their overall portfolio. Perhaps the most recent quarter scared them off and they got tired of waiting for the ramp to really begin and saw better value in another stock. Maybe they sold three smaller positions to take a larger bet on something they are very confident in. Maybe the analyst covering the stock left the firm and the PM doesn't know enough about it to keep it in the fund. There are a million possibilities and we will never know. Portfolio managers make a lot of decisions that are specific to their own portfolios that may or may not have much to do with the individual security in question.
Looks like Artisan sold out a lot of their positions in other equities - 26 filings today and a bunch over the past few days, all to the tune of Steve Miller's "Take the Money and Run". They better not stash it with UBS!
It could very well be with the government and sequestration coming up March 1 and billions in spending cuts that Artisan is waiting for that to pass. The closer to March 1 and nothing done, the greater the turmoil on the market. And of course our earnings are timed just right with that event.