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Insider Trading: Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments sold $AZO and $AN

Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments filed Form 4s on October 26th for its insider sales in Autozone Inc. (AZO) and Autonation Inc. (AN). According to the latest SEC disclosures, Edward Lampert made several insider transactions in AZO and sold approximately 291 thousand shares at near $330. After that he remains 10.47 million shares, or 26.3% stake in his AZO position. At the same time, he sold approximately 522 thousand AN shares at about $40.8. Edward Lampert has already made several insider sales in AZO after the second quarter. It seems that Edward Lampert is trying to sell the stock piece by piece. In the last 13F filing, Edward Lampert reported 9.46 million shares or 23.76% stake in AZO, and 62.23 million shares or about 42% stake in AN.


In the second quarter, totally twenty nine hedge funds had AZO in their portfolios. Beside ESL Investments’ extremely large position, other hedge funds only had a few hundreds of thousand shares. Among them Louis Navellier’s Navellier & Associates had 223 thousand shares, and David E. Shaw’s D. E. Shaw had 185 thousand shares.

Ten hedge funds had AN in their portfolios in the second quarter. Among the ten, ESL Investments took nearly 90% of the shares. Murray Stahl’s Horizon Asset Management had 6.57 million shares, and John Kleinheinz’s Kleinheinz Capital Partners had 1.06 million 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.

AutoNation, Inc. operates as an automotive retailer through its subsidiaries in the United States. According to Yahoo! Finance, the company offers “various automotive products and services, including new vehicles, used vehicles, parts, automotive repair and maintenance services, and automotive finance and insurance products”. The company also offers vehicle maintenance and protection products. The company operates 242 new vehicle franchises as of December 2010. The company was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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