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Hedge fund owner trims his AutoZone stake

AutoZone’s stock is riding high enough that hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, whose hedge fund ESL Investments owned 9.25 million AutoZone shares as of June 24, has decided he bought low enough to now sell high.

He told almost 9 percent of his fund’s position in the Memphis-based auto parts retailer over the past week or so. The recent sales are Lampert’s largest in what’s been a string of regularly trimming his AutoZone shares in small bits since the end of May.

Lampert is an activist investors who also owns a big stake in other retailers like Big Lots, Gap and AutoNation.

AutoZone stock is up about 8 percent for the year, closing at $291.6 Friday, June 24. The chain opened 43 new stores during its just-ended fiscal third quarter. As of May 7, the company operated 4,467 stores in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in the U.S. and 261 stores in Mexico.

The company also is in the early stages of evaluating the possibility of opening stores in Brazil, though Autozone execs say an announcement is still a long way off.

AutoZone saw a 12.1 percent growth in profit for the quarter ended May 7.

Letters To Dad

 

There were several important things going on at City Hall this past Tuesday. The city budget was the one that got the most attention. And we’ve got that all mapped out in our cover story in the new edition of The Memphis News.

But if you get a chance go to the city council’s website and pull up the council’s executive session. At the session was a group of approximately 120 Memphis City Schools students in grade 4-8 who are part of the school system’s Summer Leadership Camp. All boys dressed in white shirts, black pants and ties, the youngsters came to the council chambers to make the case for a program for absentee fathers.

The camp itself is an outlet for the boys coming to terms with either a tense or non existent relationship with their fathers. As they demonstrated, sometimes the relationship can be both.

And that is what made this a moment when a certain reporter immersed in the dollar amounts of budget season and the maneuvers for a transitory political advantage got a much needed reminder that there are more important and more profound discussions underway.

Seven of the boys made speeches to the council. Some weren’t even tall enough to be seen much above the podium and had to adjust the microphone to even be heard. Two read aloud letters they had written to their fathers that cut to the heart of the matter.

Listen and see it for yourselves. Here are a few quotes to give you an idea of the eloquence and emotion present in such young souls who, despite what we sometimes believe, see far more than we give them credit for or want to believe.

 

Brandon Taylor, Sherwood Middle School

“Dear Dad:

You are not supportive at all. You have been out of jail for a year now and have accomplished nothing at all. You tell stories all the time. ‘His Mom puts him against me. His Mom will not let me call him.’ That is your fault. You never try to fix it. … When you were in jail you called nearly every day and wanted me to see you on Saturday. That’s your fault why you always say those things. You never try to fix them.”

 

Julian Christopher Anderson, Fairview Middle School

“I’m mad at you because of how you left me and my Mom. I still love you but sometimes I feel like you didn’t care about me and my Mother then. I feel like all you do is hang out with me just to impress me and my Mom. Although I love hanging out with you, it feels like you’re happy to see me leave. I know you love me, but why don’t you show it. You give me everything I want which I like, but not what I need. I love you so very much. … I know I won’t leave my kids. … I will be the best father ever.”

 

 

Center City Name Change – 2.0

The Center City Commission is changing the new name it rolled out a few weeks ago.

It went from the Center City Commission, to the Downtown Memphis Development Commission and now to the Downtown Memphis Commission, with the latter name taking effect July 21.

So, let it be said that CCC president Paul Morris will get the wish after all that he humorously tweeted about …

The new name means it’s Paul’s job to Run DMC.

Click here for an interview Paul gave recently to the Main Street Journal.

NKOTB/Backstreet Boys think Mirimichi has … “the right stuff.”

From the Mirimichi golf course:

“Mirimichi had the pleasure of hosting members of the New Kids on the Block / Backstreet Boys tour for golf while they were in town. Big thanks to Donnie, AJ, Jesse and Earl – you guys are great!”

The joint New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys tour rolled into Memphis for a date at FedExForum Monday.

Click here for Mirimichi pics.

A Love Letter to you from Shelby Farms

The folks who run Shelby Farms Park and the Greenline have sent a love letter to fans and supporters, many of whom were instrumental in showing support in the face of a possible – but failed – attempt to cut Shelby Farms’ county funding this.

Here’s the letter:

“We are proud to announce that the County Commission approved its operating budget yesterday, and there was no amendment made to cut any of our funding.

Have we told you lately that we love you? Word on the street is that hundreds of emails and phone messages were sent to commissioners, and that the notes were substantive and passionate. You made an impact. You were even commended during the County Commission session by a commissioner who noted that Shelby Farms Park and Greenline supporters lobby well (without being rude or disparaging). We are so proud to work for you. Your voices were heard.

With a few clicks of the mouse–an email sent, a Facebook update posted–you jumped into action. Many of you copied us on your messages, and we read every single one. We were energized and inspired by your support when we needed it most. Our friends at Otherlands put on a fundraiser for us, and nearly 200 of you packed the room. We know how lucky we are to have your support of Shelby Farms Park and the Shelby Farms Greenline. We know how great a responsibility we are entrusted with in managing these incredible assets.

A lot of Park and Greenline fans were surprised to see that we have to raise more than $2 million to meet the operating needs of Shelby Farms Park and Greenline each year. Yes–it’s an enormous challenge, but once again, we know that we can do it with your help. Become a member of Shelby Farms Park and Greenline here and join us in our mission to help Shelby Farms Park reach its potential as the next great park of our time.

This is our love letter to you. You’re our favorite. We can’t stop talking about how great you are, and we think about you all the time. What can we say? You’re the wind beneath our wings.

Love,

Your friends at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy”

Dansette

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