Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Firefly Value Partners, Eddie Lampert, Abraxas Petroleum Corp. (AXAS), Veritone Inc (VERI), Intersections Inc. (INTX), and More

Hedge Fund Pushes for Share Buyback at Gulfport to Boost Stock Price (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Firefly Value Partners said on Thursday that it wants Gulfport Energy Corp. to buy back $500 million worth of shares, an action the hedge fund argues could help double the stock price of the natural gas and oil company. The New York-based hedge fund, in a public letter, criticized how Oklahoma City-based Gulfport, which has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, has allocated capital and complained that current board members may not be committed to pushing for improvements.

Sears Announces Lampert’s Hedge Fund, ESL, as Winning Bid in Bankruptcy Court Auction (CNBC)
Sears said Thursday that Chairman Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, is the winning bidder in the company’s bankruptcy auction, keeping the company alive. “We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the Chapter 11 process,” the board’s restructuring committee said in a press release. Subject to court approval, ESL will acquire substantially all of Sears’ remaining assets, which includes 425 stores, for about $5.2 billion. Sears’ other brands include its Home Services business and Kenmore and DieHard brands.

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Hedge Fund Investor: ‘Stupidity Is Not Cyclical’ (TheStreet)
Some sectors of the economy are cyclical and some remain steady through peaks, valleys and troughs. But there’s one constant in financial markets, especially large and highly liquid ones like the stock market: stupidity. “We have a saying in our place, which is that stupidity is not cyclical,” said Keith Rosenbloom, Managing Member of Cruiser Capital, a New York based hedge fund.

Jeffrey Vinik Thinks He Can Beat the Stock-Picking Bots (Bloomberg)
Stock pickers are striking back. Jeffrey Vinik, who rose to fame as manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund in the 1990s, told CNBC last week that he was getting back into the stock-picking game. He will resurrect Vinik Asset Management, a hedge fund he closed in 2013.