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ESL Partners’ Eddie Lampert With New Stock Positions

ESL Partners’ Eddie Lampert establishes a number of new stock positions in the fourth quarter, such as Cisco Systems, Gap, Seagate, H&R Block and Genworth Financial.

ESL Partners’ Eddie Lampert established a number of new stock positions in the fourth quarter.

The hedge fund manager is best known for holding just a handful of stocks, including a controlling stake in Sears Holdings.

In fact, of his $9.2 billion in U.S. stocks at the end of 2010, three long-standing holdings accounted for $8.3 billion: Sears, Autozone and AutoNation.

Last year ESL was up 18.3 % even though shares of Sears fell more than 12 percent, to $73.75. On the other hand, Autozone rose 42 percent and AutoNation surged more than 47 percent.

Each quarter it is not uncommon for Lampert to take small positions in other stocks. Sometimes, he’ll hold them for a few quarters or unload them after one quarter.

According to the latest 13f filing, at the end of the fourth quarter, for example, Lampert’s new positions included more than 6.4 million shares of Cisco Systems, worth more than $130 million; more than 2.8 million shares of Gap worth nearly $63 million; nearly 3.85 million shares of Seagate worth nearly $58 million and a small stake in H&R Block worth less than $5 million.

Lampert also owned a small position in Genworth Financial, which he also held at the end of the first and second quarters of 2010 but not at the end of the third quarter.

Other stocks that he has owned for the past few quarters include Capital One and CIT.

There is no way of knowing when Lampert bought the new stocks or at what price. We just know the value at the end of the quarter. So, assuming he owned the shares for the entire month—which admittedly is unlikely—it looks like he lost some money on two of the four new stocks but had huge gains in the other two.

For example, shares of Cisco dropped 7.6 percent, from $21.90 to $20.23 during the fourth quarter while H&R Block fell 8 percent from $12.95 to $11.91.

On the other hand, Gap jumped about 19 percent, from $18.64 to $22.14 while Seagate surged 36 percent, from $11.78 to $15.03.

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