Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments Reported 23.9% Activist Stake In $AZO

Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments filed 23.9% activist stake in Autozone Inc. (AZO) today. Now ESL Investments has 9.41 million shares in its position. The filing is to amend the firm’s current position after it made several insider sales in AZO on December 9th. As is shown in Form 4 filings, Edward Lampert sold 431 thousand shares at about $332 per share. Edward Lampert has been trading AZO near $330 per share for months. In the third quarter 13F filing, Edward Lampert reported 8.93 million shares in AZO. Now AZO is still trading at around $330, and has returned 20% year to date.

ESL INVESTMENTS

In the third quarter, totally twenty four hedge funds had AZO in their portfolios. Beside ESL Investments’ extremely large position, other hedge funds only had a few shares. Among them Louis Navellier’s Navellier & Associates had 220 thousand shares, and David E. Shaw’s D. E. Shaw had 177 thousand shares.

Edward S. Lampert is chairman of Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) and founder, chairman and CEO of ESL Investments. He’s a couple of years shy of 50 and has an undergrad degree from Yale. Lampert is also an ex-Goldman Sachs analyst, like Farallon’s Thomas Steyer. He started Connecticut-based ESL Investments in 1988 with $28 million. According to Forbes, he is ranked 316th on the list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $3 billion. (see the rest of the entry)

Autozone Inc. is an automotive replacement parts and accessories retailer and distributor. The company offers products for cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups, including new and remanufactured parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. The company sells its products through Website and stores. It operated 4,476 stores in United States and 261 stores in Mexico as of May 2011. Autozone Inc. was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

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