Most activists underperforming, but not this one

Scott Ferguson, Sachem Head Capital Management
Source: Sachem Head Capital Management

ConAgra Foods jumped after the company it is splitting itself in two. The move came after activist fund Jana Partners bought a 7 percent stake in June.

Despite this score by Barry Rosenstein's Jana and many other such wins by activists in 2015, performance of these managers is not good.

A basket of 15 hedge funds run by notable activists, including Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, Nelson Peltz's Trian and Jeffrey Smith's Starboard Value has lost more than 10 percent since June, estimates, a hedge fund tracking firm.

Popular names such as Advance Auto Parts, Macy's and Qualcomm are dragging down these funds as poor fundamental financial results overshadow the potential of any activist plans to create shareholder value.

But there are some lesser-known activists doing well. Here is one and what he's buying, according to filings out this week.

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