Activists Boost Stock Gains: Report

Apr 1 2014 | 12:15pm ET

Shareholder activists have faced some withering criticism recently, accused of seeking short-term gains as the expense of a company’s long-term health. But over a five-year term, that allegation falls apart, according to a new study.

Bloomberg News shows that 81 companies targeted by activists over the past five years have seen their stocks rise by an average of 48% over the period. That figure easily tops the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the same time frame, by about 17 percentage points.

The benefit stands in stark contrast to those stocks’ performance in the six months leading up to an activists’ approach: They trailed the S&P 500 by about eight percentage points.


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