Warren Lichtenstein’s Cuts Stake in Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NATH); Check Out His Other Top Picks

Warren Lichtenstein‘s Steel Partners recently disclosed a reduced stake in Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATH), which contains 317,900 shares. The position is not held directly by the investor, but through its operating company, CoSine Communications, Inc. (OTCMKTS:COSN). CoSine sold 127,542 shares between March 6 and March 17 at an average price of $73.9. Following the sale of securities, the stake represents 7.1% of the company’s outstanding common stock. Steel Partners holds 80.1% of CoSine Communications and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cedar 2015 Limited.

Nathan's Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATH)

Warren Lichtenstein founded Steel Partners in 1990. The fund’s philosophy includes investing in companies with simple business models at prices that have a built-in margin of safety, controlling costs and using leverage prudently or not at all. Lichtenstein graduated from University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in economics. The market value of the fund’s portfolio towards the end of 2014 stood at $758.45 million, with 68% of the holdings in the materials sector. Steel Partners’ top three largest holdings included Handy & Harman Ltd (NASDAQ:HNH)Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY), and Steel Partners Holdings LP (NYSE:SPLP).  Lichtenstein also serves on the board of all these companies. Diversity seems not be a priority for Steel Partners as top ten holdings account for nearly 97.96% of the portfolio value.

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With 9.93 million shares valued at $457.15 million, Handy & Harman Ltd (NASDAQ:HNH), represents the most valuable holding of Steel Partners. Nearly 2.1 million shares were added to the position during the fourth quarter, following which the stake amassed 60.27% of the portfolio value. Handy & Harman is Mr. Lichtenstein’s long-terminvestment, the stake being initiated during the first quarter of 2011. Jim Simmons’ Renaissance Technologies also held some 92,500 shares of the diversified manufacturer of engineered niche industrial products, valued at $4.26 million towards the end of 2014.

Handy & Harman Ltd (NASDAQ:HNH) is up by about 99.8% over the last 52 weeks. Financial results for the fourth quarter included a net loss of $0.03 per share as compared to a profit of $0.95 in the same quarter last year, and revenues of $161.8 million which were higher than $152.3 million posted a year earlier.

Steel Partners’ stake in Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY) remained unchanged at 4.18 million shares, valued at $76.51 million at the end of the fourth quarter. Among over 700 hedge funds that we track, the number of hedge funds invested in the manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems remained the same at 20, but the aggregate amount invested increased to $511.11 million from $374.07 million a quarter earlier. Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors held the highest stake in Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY) among these funds, which consisted 5.32 million shares valued at $97.40 million shares.

Although Gencorp’s fourth quarter EPS of $0.15 beat estimates by $0.01, revenues of $439.6 million came in $41.25 million lighter than expected. The $1.37 billion company recently announced that it will be cutting 10% of its national work force as part of a four year cost cutting plan. Gencorp Inc (NYSE:GY) appreciated by nearly 9.4% over the last year.

The fund added 36,563 shares of Steel Partners Holdings LP (NYSE:SPLP) during the fourth quarter and took the stake to 3.2 million shares valued at $56.49 million. The portfolio contribution of Steel Partners stood at 7.45%. Nathaniel August’s Mangrove Partners also held some 422,900 shares in the company valued at 7.47 million towards the end of 2014.

Steel Partners Holdings LP (NYSE:SPLP) is up by about 21% over the year. The company holds about 39% of the JPS Industries, and towards the end of 2014, it tried to acquire the rest of the company through Handy & Harman Ltd (NASDAQ:HNH), for $10 per share in cash.

Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATH) is another long term holding in Steel Partners’ equity portfolio. GAMCO Investors and Renaissance Technologies also have a stake amounting to 248,300 shares valued at $19.87 million and 80,600 shares valued at $6.45 million respectively. Earlier this month, Nathan’s Famous, Inc. (NASDAQ:NATH) declared a special dividend of $25 per share which will be payable on March 27. The company’s stock gained 44% year to date outperforming the  Restaurants & Bars industry average, which rose by about 23% during the same period.

Disclosure: none