[caption id="attachment_9902" align="alignleft" width="195" caption="Richard Blum"]
Richard Blum's Blum Capital Partners
announced on Monday that it sold a large portion of its holding in eResearch Technology, Inc. (ERT, formerly ERES)
, reducing its sizeable position to a 9.3% stake
– almost 20% less than it held at the end of September. Blum Capital Partners had owned 5.54 million shares in the company at the end of the third quarter. According to the 13D filed on January 3
, he had cut that percentage to just over 4.60 million shares on December 30, 2011.
On December 30, ERT traded between $4.65-$4.75 a share. It closed January 4 at $4.80 a share. The company has a one-year target estimate of $7.31 ($6.00-$9.00) and carries analyst recommendations of 1.8 on a scale in which 1.0 means "Strong Buy" and 5.0 indicates "Sell." ERT's earnings have grown by 3.63% per annum ver the last five years but analysts predict its earnings will grow by 21.50% per annum over the next five years, easily outperforming industry expectations of 14.94% per annum. ERT's share price had dipped below $4 around Thanksgiving, but rebounded quickly, hitting a high of $4.70 on December 1.