Friday, November 14, 2008

Sears Holdings, ESL Investments & Mr. Eddie Lampert



This is a follow up on my previous article on Sears Holdings (see my post "Sears Not Just Your Average Retailer!?$$$"http://stockmanmarc.blogspot.com/2008/10/sears-not-just-your-average-retailer.html) which I covered just a few weeks ago. The stock has gone down another 20% since then which is probably in anticipation of earnings that are due out on Dec. 2nd, 2008. However the intrinsic value of the company still looks to be around $81.00 per share and this does not include the Craftsman, Kennmore, or DieHard brands which most Americans are familiar with. Due understand that the estimates in value are rough estimates but conservative ones at that. Since I last posted on Sears, they have since reinstated the layaway plan which use to be quite popular many years ago. It was always very popular around the holidays. For those of you not familiar with the layaway plan, you simply put down a small down payment and the retailer holds that item until the product is payed for.

Many people are strictly looking at this company as a pure retailer, and saying that they don't have a chance against WalMart(WMT) and Target(TGT). However Sears sits on a vast amount of real estate that could be sold off or converted into a different type of store, the possibilities are many. Plus they have cash on hand to redeploy or buy back shares that have been beaten down which further increases shareholder value. Furthermore their debt/equity ratio currently is .38 which is much lower than the competition. Also remember that Eddie Lampert is not only chairman of a retail giant but a chairman of ESL Investments who has a 20+ year track record.

This is an interesting stock and situation, which I will try to follow up on at a later date.

Please remember this is not a recommendation but a business to keep an eye on and do further research.

3 comments:

  1. Great blog, i just started reading today. I'm very interested in Eddie Lampert and his career.. do you have more info on Lampert? His returns? Best investments? A small bio?

    Thanks

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  2. Thanks Francisco, glad you like it!

    Eddie Lamperts style is much like early Warren Buffet 1950's-1970 when Buffett ran a partnership or in todays terms hedge fund. Lamperts style is investing in just a few companies at a time often taking a major position in the company. Lampert has averaged near 30% returns over last 20 years.

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