This is the year of the activist investor, with wave-making fund managers picking fights with CEOs and prodding for corporate change at a rate of nearly two a week -- more than they have in years.
Activist investors have filed notice that they were stalking 62 companies with a market value above $100 million so far this year, up nearly 25% from 50 at this time in 2012, which itself was the busiest year for activists since 2008, according to research firm 13D Monitor.
The lavishly paid longtime chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) was ousted after an activist campaign. Chemical producer Ashland Inc. (ASH) is under pressure to spin off its Valvoline oil division. And just last week, hedge fund Barington Capital began pressing Olive Garden and Red Lobster parent Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) to split its mature chains from its faster-growing divisions.
Most ordinary investors are satisfied to take what the market gives them, selecting funds and stocks that appear attractive andRead More »from Vulture Bait? These Four Stocks Could Draw Activist Investors