Lampert Boosts Sears Stake by $13.6 Million
Although Sears Holdings’ shares are far from their highs, billionaire Edward S. Lampert, the retailer’s chairman and incoming chief executive, increased his stake, proving that the stock is no blue light special.
On Jan. 9 and 10, Lampert bought 332,048 shares of Sears (ticker: SHLD) for $13,576,981, an average of $40.89 each. His direct holdings now stand at 23,801,990 shares, or a 22.3% stake in the company, up from 22.0%.
Lampert also indirectly holds an additional 33,856,069 Sears shares through various entities including ESL Investments.
His most recent previous transaction was on Jan. 12, 2012, when he bought 105,700 shares for $3.3 million, an average of $31.20 each.
Lampert will add the chief executive title effective Feb. 2 when Louis J. D’Ambrosio steps down. Lampert has been Sears’ chairman since March 2005 when predecessor companies Kmart Holding and Sears, Roebuck & Co. were combined. He founded ESL Investments, which helped solidify the merger, in 1988.
A spokesman for Sears declined to comment on the transaction.
On its site, InsiderScore.com notes that insider sentiment is neutral within the consumer-discretionary sector as companies gear up to release fourth-quarter results.
“Lampert’s purchase incrementally increased his stake in a company he already controlled — both as a shareholder and chairman, and now as CEO — and the dollar value represents just a fraction of his overall investment in Sears Holdings,” writes InsiderScore. “The activity is an incremental positive. Based on his recent actions, Lampert obviously continues to believe that he will unlock the company’s value.”