Since most hedge funds get paid based on their returns for the year, managers who want to get the most out of a stock investment often turn to shareholder activism as a way to increase shareholder value and ultimately boost their returns.Here at Stockpickr.com we many of the Latest Activist Situations recorded by StreetInsider.com 13D Tracker for those interested in possibly piggybacking these activist funds. We highlight a few of the latest activist situations here. The war between Obrem Capital Management and semiconductor company Micrel ( MCRL) continues to play out. Obrem Capital plans to nominate a slate of directors for election to Micrel's board at the company's shareholder meeting May 20. On April 28, Obrem sent a lengthy letter to fellow Micrel shareholders highlighting the "many missteps that have resulted in a long-term erosion of stockholder value." Two interesting points here that Obrem highlighted include: 1) "Under CEO Ray Zinn and this Board, well over $1 billion of stockholder value has dissipated since January 2001." And 2) "One dollar invested in Micrel ten years ago has yielded an 11% total return -- including dividends. Conversely, an investment in a 10-year Treasury Bond over that same period would have yielded a 75% return." Ultimately, Obrem is looking for Micrel to sell itself and claims that they have spoken to "a few interested parties." Keep in mind that Micrel has more than $75 million in cash, zero debt and a 15% short position.
Next on the list is Feldman Mall Properties ( FMP). Investor James Sight plans to present a slate of nominees for the board of directors at the real estate investment trust. Sight said that the performance of Feldman Mall Properties is "well-documented, and the current board does not appear capable of doing anything to enhance shareholder value." Sight said he has attempted to work out a compromise to put experienced shareholders on the board and also has asked for a shareholder list, which he said was denied based on a "self-serving technicality." Feldman recently said that a review of the micro-cap company's strategic alternatives didn't lead to a completion of any strategic transactions. The company said that it remains committed to exploring its options. We'll keep an eye on this situation. Another activist situation involves Fisher Communications ( FSCI), which received a letter from Gamco Investors pushing management to use cash flow to repurchase shares. Fisher Communications has a stated book value of $26.7 a share and a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 9. For more activist ideas, including Countrywide ( CFC) and AMR ( AMR), check out the Latest Activist Situations, a portfolio we update daily with significant shareholder activist moves. You can also check out the latest activist filings from Barron's, a list we update each Saturday.