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AmeriCredit Investor Could Lighten Stake

Stocks in this article: ACF FAIRX

As of Sept. 30, Fairholme owned a total of 32.3 million shares of the company, worth $510 million at the time. Comparing that figure to the estimated value of the firm's holdings at the end of the second quarter, Fairholme had seen appreciation resulting in a tidy $73 million paper-profit on its total AmeriCredit investment

But, given the tremendous performance of the stock over the past year and the resignation of Berkowitz, Fairholme could soon be looking to take some money off the table.

Shares of AmeriCredit rose a nickel to $19.93 in early trades on Wednesday. The stock reached its high for the year of $20.10 on Nov. 11, and, based on Monday's close, it was up more than 300% for the past 52 weeks. The near-term low for the shares is $3.07, set on March 6.

"Anytime a big shareholder sells shares, there could be some downward pressure on the share price. In this case AmeriCredit shares have had a very nice run," Gokhale says. "It shouldn't be a complete surprise. Our view is that the shares are fully valued at this point in time given limited earnings power at least in the near term."

Berkowitz, who has been on AmeriCredit's board for just under a year, is stepping down due to the "demands of his position" at Fairholme, according to an AmeriCredit release. An outside Fairholme spokesman said the demands include the start of a new fund in the near future, according to an e-mailed statement.

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