Activist Stocks: Dupont, Spectrum; Ashland; CDK Global; iPass

Activist temptresses, better than Monday, with major activist stories and news for May 12 below. Taking taking leads at @activiststocks, daily newsletter sign up, ICYMI the latest newsletter is here.

News –

  • Armistice Capital has gone active on Spectrum Pharma with a 5.4% stake [letter here]
  • Elliott Management is now active at CDK Global owning 4% of the company and has exposure to another 3.6% via a derivatives agreement. The fund joins Sachem Headand Fir Tree, who are both activists there.
  • Jana Partners has sold all of its Ashland stake. The fund went active in April of 2013, with shares up 60% since then. Jana had owned 8.7% of the company, but the position wasn’t one of its top 5.
  • Maguire Asset Management and its shareholders for change group has upped its stake in iPass by over 15%, now owning 9% of the company. They’re pushing the companyto better define their WiFi strategy to regain investor confidence.
  • Blue Clay Capital abandoned its proxy battle versus Select Comfort today, following the news from yesterday that ISS and Glass Lewis were opposing the activist’s dissident director candidates.

Stories –

Michael Mauboussin: Here’s what active managers can do

michael mauboussin, Credit Suisse, valuation and portfolio positioning, capital markets theory, competitive strategy analysis, decision making, skill versus luck, value investing, Legg Mason, The Success Equation, Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition, analysts, behavioral finance, More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places, academics , valuewalkThe debate over active versus passive management continues as trends show the ongoing shift from active into passive funds. Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more At the Morningstar Investment Conference, Michael Mauboussin of Counterpoint Global argued that the rise of index funds has made it more difficult to be an active manager. Drawing Read More


  • Getting tougher and tougher to find compelling stories, so again today, it’s all about DuPont. @stephengandelat Fortune defends Ellen Kullman in a piece that goes beyond DuPont’s stock price to look at Kullman’s ability to generate returns on invested capital. It’s a thought-provoking piece and worth a read if you don’t understand DuPont’s business [link]