Clinton Group Cuts Stake in The Wet Seal, Inc. (WTSL)

Clinton Group, managed by Greg Taxin has reduced its position in The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSL). A recent filing with the SEC shows that Clinton Group has decreased its activist position in Wet Seal to 6.4 million class A shares from around 6.6 million held earlier. The new stake amasses nearly 7.6% of the class A common stock.


The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSL)


According to its recent press release, Wet Seal appointed Deena Varshavskaya, Nancy Lublin, and Adam Rothstein as new independent members of the company’s Board of Directors, expanding the size of the Board from seven to nine members. In the letter attached to the filing, Greg Taxin revealed that Clinton Group supports the three new members that were appointed recently.


Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSL) is a leading specialty retailer of fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items. Since June 2013, the company’s stock price has been steadily decreasing from a high $5.00 per share to a low  $1.89 per share. In 2013 The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSL) generated revenues of $469.7 million, 5.1% less than the result for the previous year, and reported annual losses of $0.22 per share. Earnings forecasts show that the company’s losses are expected to widen even further in 2014 to $0.31 per share, but narrow to $0.11 per share in 2015. On average, analysts suggest that investors hold the stock.


Joe Huber‘s Huber Capital Management is also one of the largest shareholders of Wet Seal, owning 3.98 million shares with a total value of $10.86 million. Another fund holding  The Wet Seal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WTSL) is Cliff Asness‘ Aqr Capital Management, which owns 1.17 million shares totaling $3.18 million.


Services industry represents the largest share of Clinton Group’s equity portfolio, with 9.78% of its value invested in 1.6 million shares of NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI). Moreover, the fund holds significant long positions of 2.54 million shares worth $17.76 million in ValueVision Media Inc (NASDAQ:VVTV) and 1.22 million shares worth $15.07 million in Stillwater Mining Company (NYSE:SWC).


Disclosure: none.


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