Why I like seeing activist pressure in stocks

Investing


With news of the proxy battle between Procter & Gamble and activist investor Nelson Peltz coming to a close, CNBC’s Jim Cramer shared his thoughts on the practice of activism.

“This is very much a case-by-case thing,” the “Mad Money” host said. “There are some ‘scorched earth’ activists who seem to specialize in creating ill will and not much else. But you know what? I think those days are largely behind us, at least when it comes to smart activists who know what they’re doing.”

From Peltz’s failed run at Procter & Gamble to his partner Ed Garden’s board seat win at General Electric, activist investors can help open executives’ eyes to parts of their companies that could use refining, Cramer said.

Overall, whether the investor succeeds or not, Cramer sees activism on Wall Street as a net-positive for companies, particularly those with businesses in need of reform.

“Some of these activists are better than others, but generally speaking, when a smart activist like a Peltz or a [Elliott Management’s Paul] Singer gets involved, it’s a good thing for you at home. Even when the activists fail to get everything they want, you, as a shareholder, should be grateful for their work. Believe me, these stocks, many of these, would be even lower, maybe much lower, without the pressure these funds put on management,” Cramer said.



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