Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management Adjusted Its Stakes in $CCRN and $WIRE

Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management filed on November 10th that the firm made some adjustment to its existing positions in Cross Country Healthcare Inc. (CCRN) and Encore Wire Corp (WIRE). According to the 13G filings, Martin Whitman now has 4.48 million shares in CCRN or 14.36% passive stake, down by 26% from its 6.09 million shares position in the second quarter. It seems that Martin Whitman underestimated CCRN’s performance and began to dispose the shares right before the company’s third quarter result came out. The estimated average selling price is about $5.30. Now CCRN is trading at $5.40, losing 36% year to date.

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ:CCRN)

For WIRE, Martin Whitman owns approximately 816 thousand shares, corresponding to a 3.5% passive stake. This is a 42% decrease from his 1.41 million shares in the second quarter. The estimated average selling price is about $26.50. Now WIRE is priced at $25.97, and has returned 4% in 2011.

Based on Insider Monkey’s hedge fund tracking list, five hedge funds had CCRN in their portfolios in the second quarter. Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates followed Third Avenue Management and had 2.86 million shares in the stock, after a 5% increase in the second quarter. The other three hedge funds took much smaller positions.

WIRE was in seven hedge funds in the second quarter. Beside Martin Whitman’s Third Avenue Management’s 1.41 million shares, Chuck Royce’s Royce & Associates slightly increased its position by 3% and reported 391 thousand shares. Cliff Asness’ Aqr Capital Management cut its position by 8% and had 102 thousand shares at that time.

Third Avenue Management is managed under Martin Whitman. He is an American investment advisor who once made some critic changes in GAAP. He is founder, Co-Chief Investment Officer, and Portfolio Manager of the Third Avenue Management. Based on the firm’s latest 13F, it had $4.9 billion portfolio value in the second quarter, and mainly invested in Financial, Basic Material, and Technology sector.

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. engages in the healthcare staffing services. The company offers a range of staffing and outsourcing services to the healthcare market. It has four segments under operation: nurse and allied staffing, physician staffing, clinical trial services, and other human capital management services. The company also offers temporary physician staffing, contract staffing, outsourcing services, safety monitoring and regulatory consulting, as well as education and training. The company was established in 1996 and is based in Florida.

Encore Wire Corp engages in the manufacture of copper electrical building wire and cable. It’s a supplier of building wire for interior electrical wiring applications. The company markets its products to wholesale electrical distributors, through independent manufacturers’ representatives, and through its own direct in-house marketing efforts. The company also resells some other types of wire to customers. The company was founded in 1989 and is based in Texas.