No, what you should also give me the nod on the serious possibility that, no matter what Starboard does with QTM, history will show that it was a bad investment. You blame QTM management? I blame the fact that QTM management is stuck in a niche market, much of which seems to be shrinking, and doesn't have the resources to transition out of that niche to a "real" growth market. It seems to me that nothing that Starboard can do, short of injecting HUGE AMOUNTS of NEW capital will change that trajectory. New management won't change that trajectory. Only capital investment that fosters new product innovation will make a difference. Is Starboard doing that? No. To think that a company whose highest revenue side is a shrinking segment has great value without any sign of significant investment in product shift doesn't exactly scream "I'm a smart investor." More likely, its a sign of totally mis-reading QTM's niche business. Way to go, again, Starboard!
QTM announces positive financial news. QTM briefly spikes, then drops. Then, the market has a big up day. QTM closes flat on average volume. Hmmm, I wonder what major holder might be slowly selling? Could it be Starboard? Nah! They would never even think of selling slowly to reduce their position over the next year. They're in this to profit from QTM's bright future way out after 2016! They always make smart investments! I love Starboard! They're my heroes!
Position? Yes. Managerial influence? WHAT managerial influence?! They can't even manage to get all the board positions that they need until 2016! You call in managerial influence. I call it scrambling for a way out. The track record suggests that Starboard doesn't always make good choices. This absolutely has the signature of one of those. Oooo, QTM's down to $1.27! BUY! Duh...
Given all the turmoil in the industry, the VPCO report was surprisingly good, and indicates the right moves to be very well positioned. My 18yo non-smoker nephew (from a 100% non-smoking family) recently bought a vaporizer. He brought it out at a family party and all the relatives, regardless of age, thought it was awesome. Everyone loved the non-nicotine flavored e-juices. A GREAT sign of things to come!
Now, now, let's not blast ALL hedge funds. There does actually exists management at some corporations who have irrationally expanded their product reach will beyond areas of core competencies, where both shareholders and most employees would benefit from product line divestiture. Hedge funds are often required, if there's any hope of blasting apart the status quo. But, to anyone with a brain, Quantum's current products do fit within its core competencies, and a hedge fund that believes otherwise will only destroy the company and the dreams of American workers. However, EVERY corporation has employees and managers who relentlessly rationalize their existence, even though their product line shows no real hope for widespread market acceptance and sales growth, or their product line is stable enough that most of its project group workers are realistically no longer needed. One could argue that the latter is probably the case at every corporation, including Quantum. Fixing that latter problem does not require hedge fund leadership. It simply requires corporate leadership who actually takes the time to understand and admit to themselves the realities of their marketplace, and how each product line fits or DOESN'T fit into an aggressive growth strategy, without blindly following the inevitable job-preserving rationalization of the product managers. If management does not regularly conduct insensitive, realistic product line and project group evaluations, they are just begging for a hedge fund like Starboard to step in.
Kick Starboard out. Its time for a new investor.
Anyone who does a Google search on Starboard Value holdings can see that the J3SG link suggests that Starboard MAY have a problem identifying exceptional candidate companies for which they have the talent to increase (much less preserve) shareholder value? Time will tell. Starboard has already been given plenty of time. Perhaps QTM shareholders should do the opposite, and reject Starboard's board candidates, essentially telling Starboard to go away so that another major investor with a "fresh" approach to Quantum can come in and have a shot at REALLY increasing shareholder value? Just a thought.