Activist Stocks: NCR Corp.; Is Activism Good Or Bad?

Activist pikies, weak day, in part because we’re busy building other things, but the below is the news and stories for April 23. Tips at @activiststocks, sign up for the free daily activist email (newish setup), and ICYMI the latest newsletter is here.

News:

  • NCR came out this morning and said it’s exploring a spinoff or sale of assets in hopes of unlocking some value. A move that got the company out in front of a near 100-slide hit piece from @sprucepointcap. NCR Corp. getting the beat on Spruce is no surprise given its shareholder base. Jana Partners took a 7.1% stake in Feb., you also have Marcato Capital whose been active since Oct. with a 6.4% stake and Corvex is creepin’ around there somewhere too, with about 3.2% of NCR. An LBO is why Marcato is there. This idea is nothing new, but hats off to NCR for getting out in front of Spruce. In large part, the thanks goes Barry Rosenstein, nothing happens at Spruce without his knowing. So far it’s Nuti 1 Axler 0.

Stories:

Relying On Old-Fashioned Stock Picking, Lee Ainslie Reports His “Strongest Quarter” Ever

Lee Ainslie's Maverick Fund USA enjoyed its "strongest quarter in the fund's history" during the three months to the end of June. According to a copy of the firm's second-quarter letter to investors, which ValueWalk has been able to review, Maverick Fund USA gained 18% in the second quarter. Following this performance, the fund was Read More


  • @FrankPartnoy at the WSJ continues the age old debate over whether activism is good or bad. The key is his study with Vanderbilt that looked at nearly 1,300 hedge fund activist campaigns from 2008 to mid-2014. Key takeaway, “During the past six years, the “announcement period stock return” [21 day window before and after the announcement of activist stake] of targeted firms has averaged around 6%” [link]