Stop the presses — or, at least, please, run them more efficiently. That's the message more media companies may soon be hearing from activist investors looking to make a quick buck.
Monday's news that Jana Partners took a stake in Time Inc. sent the magazine company's stock more than 5 percent higher in early trading. But the stock is still down more than 7 percent so far this year.
Some say hedge funds' interest in media stocks could proliferate in months ahead. The market clearly took note of Jana's stake in Time, as other print media companies' shares rose in trading Monday.
"Undervalued and out-of-favor media stocks where the underlying assets have intrinsic value are becoming more attractive candidates for activists," said Steven Wolosky, a partner of Olshan Frome Wolosky in New York, which represents activist investors who take on big companies looking for balance sheet upgrades and other changes.