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Ariel Investments' John Rogers Grabs 10.2% Ownership of Orion Energy

January 10, 2013 | About:
John Rogers, founder of Ariel Investments, has reported buying more shares of energy management systems company, Orion Energy (OESX), widening his stake by 12.72 percent, according to GuruFocus Real Time Picks. The play pushes Rogers to 10.2 percent owner of the company.

Starting off with only 45,205 shares, Rogers unremittingly added to his position since buying the stock in 2009. After his latest move on the stock, Rogers’s total holding has reached 2,047,393 shares.

Orion’s stock price has been on a descending path in the last five years. Within the timeframe, it lost 90.7 percent of its market value, 68.3 percent in three year’s timeframe, and 33.57 percent in 2012 alone.

1357838216043.pngOESX data by GuruFocus.com

Based in Manitowoc, Wis., Orion focuses its business on energy management, developing high-performing lighting products that cut electricity costs.

Ariel Investments’ company profile for Orion highlights that the company’s high intensity fluorescent (HIF) lighting systems cut electricity costs by roughly 50 percent. About 114 out of the Fortune 500 companies use its systems. Most of its current revenue is from retrofits, or energy efficient renovations, a market which the company believes is close to $10 billion.

In Orion’s latest fiscal results published in November, which reported Orion’s 2013 second quarter results, the company admitted that its revenue has taken a hit, due to a “challenged capital spending environment.”

“We had a number of large solar deals coming together all at one time,” Orion CEO John Scribante said in the report. “We also had several non-recurring charges related to income tax and reorganization expenses.”

This reorganization that Scribante spoke of was in regards to his attainment of the CEO title in September, taking the place of Orion’s then CEO, Neal Verfuerth, whose new title is chairman emeritus and founder.

The executive rearrangement was accompanied by Scribante’s appointment of new strategies that focus on reducing costs and expanding Orion’s direct sales efforts.

“I look forward to the challenge of improving both our near-term and long-term bottom-line financial results, while continuing to focus on increasing our revenues and meeting our goal of recognizing $250 million in annual revenue by 2017,” Scribante said in September.

About a month into his new position, Scribante spoke during Orion’s 2012 annual shareholders meeting at its Wisconsin headquarters, reinforcing his new strategies to bring profit to the company and “vigorous focus” on increasing shareholder value.

“Our products give us life, but profits sustain that life,” Scribante said in the meeting. “The promise I make to you and everyone else is, we’ve got to deliver sales every single day.”



Since becoming CEO, Scribante has purchased 9,000 shares of Orion, in two separate transactions in November. This marked his first time buying shares as an insider.(Market Overview)

During his prior position as president of Orion’s Engineered Systems division since 2009, and senior vice president of business development since 2007, Scribante sold 127,000 shares on six different occasions.

Serving as Orion’s CEO for five years prior to Scibante’s rein, Verfuerth only reported five trades as an insider. All transactions were large sells, ranging between 50,000 shares and 303,255 shares.

Currently, 2.1 percent of Ariel Investments’ portfolio represents the energy sector. About 25 percent of its portfolio is consumer cyclical stocks and 24 percent represents financial services. (Sector Weighting)

Orion’s stock is up 0.53 percent this afternoon, trading at $1.89.

To view the rest of John Roger’s latest trades, visit Stock Picks. Also view his undervalued stocks, his high-yield companies and his top growth stocks.

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About the author:

Dianne Tordillo
Dianne Tordillo is staff writer for GuruFocus.com. She reports on a variety of financial news, primarily dealing with investor portfolios and stock trades. Her articles also highlight insider trades, as well as the many useful features of GuruFocus.

Visit Dianne Tordillo's Website


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