BOSTON Nov 28 Hedge fund manager Edward
Lampert, already the biggest investor of AutoNation (AN.N),
boosted his stake in the car dealer chain to 30 percent, a
regulatory filing shows.
The filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission late on Tuesday shows that Lampert's fund now owns
55.3 million shares, up from the 52.4 million, or 28.5 percent
stake, he owned earlier in the month.
The stock was up 6.67 percent at $16.81 on Wednesday,
reversing course after weeks of losses. Since the start of the
year, AutoNation's share price has lost 26.13 percent.
Lampert, who has been managing his hedge fund ESL
Investments since 1988, built a reputation for delivering hefty
payouts to investors by finding undervalued stocks.
He tends to make big bets on a small number of companies
like Citigroup Inc (C.N)., Sears Holdings (SHLD.O), and Home
Depot (HD.N), and has lost money only twice, in 1990 and 2002.
Industry analysts and investors, however, are speculating that
in light of Citi's heavy losses this year, 2007 might mark
another off year for Lampert's portfolio.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss, editing by Dave Zimmerman)