Activist acolytes, today has a solid blend of news and stories. Send tips to @activiststocks, sign up for our daily newsletter, and ICYMI the latest newsletter is here.

News:

  • Sardar Biglari won the battle against Groveland Capital, with shareholders re-electing all incumbent director nominees. A great win for the always classy Sardar. Look for Sardar to position Biglari over the next year to make it harder for a proxy battle in the future, as he didn’t get to where he is by being a fool.
  • Moody’s has voiced its concern over how activist impact corporate ratings and bondholders. Specifically, when activist push for buybacks or M&A, it can be a red flag for rating agencies as it “increases the uncertainty of a company’s “strategic direction.”

Stories:

  • Trian Partners has sent a letter rebuffing @JeffSonnenfeld accusations that the fund has been a perpetual underperformer. Key takeaway from the letter, “Mr. Sonnenfeld’s selective use of data is blatant in citing Trian’s returns for 2014 and 2012—but not including 2013. Not only is his 2014 figure wrong (our return was actually 11% net of fees), but he omits 2013 when we were up 40% net of fees, significantly outperforming the S&P 500” [link to letter]
  • @jimcramer apparently offered some judicious advice the other night on his Mad Money show, stating, “You should never invest in a company just because a so-called activist has gotten involved.” CNBC has a lengthy piece on Cramer’s insight and why you shouldn’t invest in companies activist invest in [link]
  • @valuewalk has a piece about the success of activist investing and its continued rise — with this strategy continuing to outperform the other hedge fund strategies. Of note, there’s been a shift toward more aggressive activist theses, “…activist are beginning to shift their focus from demands for share repurchases and dividends to sales of assets or mergers and acquisitions. Demands for asset sales or mergers or acquisitions increased 33% from 2013 to 2014, making up 14% of campaigns” [link]

Activist Stocks: Biglari Holdings, Trian Partners, Activist Investing