pantrys big shareholder ups its ante

Oppenheimer Funds increases holding in the company to 10.21%

The Pantry Inc.’s major shareholder, Oppenheimer Funds, has upped its holding in the chain from 5.94% to 10.21%, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

According to Yahoo! Finance, the move makes Oppenheimer the single largest shareholder in Sanford, N.C.-based chain, which has seen shares drop 33% since the start of the year on weak earnings caused by ever-decreasing gasoline margins.

It’s easy to see why institutional investors would be interested in The Pantry. The company has become one of the biggest chains in the south, operating more than 1,600 stores in 11 states. However, the company has been burdened with a large amount of debt and are now selling at a modest 15 times earnings and recently announced a buyback plan that could take more than 6% of its shares off the market.

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