Activist acolyte, strong day today. Activist investing news and stories for June 24 below. You should know by now that the free newsletter is on a 24-hour delay. Subscribe to Activist Strategy to get it on publication day or request a two-week free trial here. As usual, check out the tweets on @activiststocks to stay in the know and get on the free daily newsletter list.
- Iroquois Capital has gone active on Lrad Corp. with a 5.6% stake. It cites poor capital allocation and insider sales [link to letter]
- Roumell Asset has changed its passive stake in Rosetta Stone from passive to active, owning 5.5%. Rosetta has been in talks with private equity [our notes that Osmium is supporting a buyout]. Osmium is active there with a 9.7% stake and Nierenberg Investment Management is also active with a 7% stake.
- Baker Street Capital is active on Walter Investment Management with a 22.3% stake. Baker noted that this would remain a passive investment. The stock is up 40% YTD.
- Wexford Capital is now active on Famous Dave’s, owning 19%. Last week, Blue Clay Capital founder was installed as interim CEO. Lioneye Capital is also an activist in Famous Dave’s with a 12.8% stake. PW Partners is active there too with a 10.3% stake.
- Mill Road Capital sold off half its stake in Learning Tree, now owning 5.1% of the company.
- Maguire Asset Management upped its stake in Novatel Wireless from 5.5% of the company to 6.7% [link to letter]
- GM activist talk to takeover for Fiat is waning. The activists involved, owning 1.5%, have made private comments that they are more interested in cutting costs than a merger.
David Einhorn Buys Three New Stocks: These Are The Names And Theses (Q3 Letter)
David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital funds returned 5.9% in the third quarter of 2020, compared to a gain of 8.9% for the S&P 500 in the same period. This year has been particularly challenging for value investors. Growth stocks have surged as value has struggled. For Greenlight, one of Wall Street's most established value-focused investment funds, Read More
- The SEC, specifically, commissioner Dan Gallagher, gives a detailed account of what activism is, it’s a heck of a long read [link]
- Proxy Monitor does a study on pension funds and activism. It’s a long read as well, of note, “These findings substantially undercut the hypothesis that public pension funds’ shareholder-proposal activism adds to share value for the average diversified investor” [link]
- The San Francisco Chronicle puts out a piece on what Bill Ackman got wrong at a Stanford Law Q&A. Target and J.C. Penney are the focus. Of note, Ackman got the question, What exactly is your business? Ackman replied, “Harvesting souls” [link]
What we’ve been working on-
- Johnson Controls notes on being its own activist [full paywall]
- Activism in the REIT space [full paywall]
- Darden Restaurants is forming a REIT [link]
- A potential activist target in the airline parts space
- A company that’s its own activist but could be buyout bait [full paywall]
- GO Investment ups its stake in Premier Farnell [link]
- An ode to Kirk Kerkorian, Part I: Making of a visionary [link]
- Ode to Kirk Kerkorian, Part II: The hustle [link]
- Notes on the United Rentals, Hertz and Jana Partners mess [link]