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Daily Activism: Buybacks aren't all that bad afterall

Activist follower, light on the news and stories today, but here’s what we mustered for June 23. 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.

News-

  • Metro Bancorp shareholders elected to put the activist investor Richard Lashley on its board

  • The state-run pension is said to likely side with Samsung in its battle against Elliott Management. Korea’s National Pension Service is the largest Samsung C&T shareholder, owning 10.15%

  • Starboard Value target Darden Restaurants will separate some of its restaurants into REIT [story to follow, previous notes here]

  • Corvex Management’s portfolio got a nice boost yesterday from the surge in Williams Companies stock - the fund’s top holdings, with about a quarter of its portfolio invested there.

Stories-

  • Michael Levin has a piece refuting the notion that buyback are bad. The idea is that there is a “use” for buybacks and that use has been to shovel the money into innovation via VC funds, etc. Of note, “In the past three years, share repurchases increased nicely, from a little under $400 billion in 2012 to over $550 billion in 2014. At the same time, funding of alternative investments exceeded share repurchases in each of those years. It grew from over $550 billion in 2012 to almost $600 billion in 2013, and jumped to over $650 billion in 2014” [link]

What we’ve been working on-

  • Johnson Controls notes on being its own activist [full paywall]

  • Activism in the REIT space [full paywall]

  • A potential activist target in the airline parts space

  • A company that’s its own activist but could be buyout bait [full paywall]