Daily Activist Investing May 7: Do you take ketchup on your hot dog?

Activist kool-aiders, light/long/behind day. Stories/news for May 7 below. Hit us with leads at @activiststocks, daily newsletter signup, ICYMI the latest newsletter is here.

News-

  • Heartland Advisors changed its stake from passive to active on PDI Inc. This is a sub $20M market cap outsourced sales company in the healthcare industry. They’ve owned shares since 2005 and now 18.8%. Corporate governance and maximizing shareholder value is its focus.

  • Starboard Value upped its Quantum stake from 25.7M (end of ‘14) to 44.4M. The fund is up nearly 70% since going active in October 2012.

Stories-

  • @DaveCBenoit at WSJ has a piece on Nelson Peltz and his marketing prowess (rather his attention to detail) - pointing out how Peltz single handedly got Heinz to sponsor the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest. Things go downhill a bit after that, with it becoming the Peltz-Heinz show. The key takeaway, “Trian waged a proxy fight and got two board seats in 2006, including one for Nelson Peltz. Seven years later, Heinz was sold to 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway for $23 billion. Today, Heinz's former CEO and CFO are both close with Trian.” ...Now, I will point out that from the time that Peltz went active on Heinz to the time it was sold to 3G its stock returned 7% annualized. Not great, but the market mustered a 2.6% CAGR over the same period [link]