This article originally appeared on Jan. 29, 2014, on RealMoney.com. To read more content like this plus see inside Jim Cramer's multimillion-dollar portfolio for FREE... Click Here NOW.
An activist position in Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) that I wrote about Tuesday started me thinking about where we might be able to find other interesting companies that activists were involved in but were not quite on the Carl Icahn-type radar screen. Many smaller activists do not attract the same massive media attention as Icahn but still manage to achieve outstanding results and unlock shareholder value in undervalued or mismanaged companies. The companies they target do not show the same type of huge advances that occur when someone Like Daniel Loeb of Third Point or Carl Icahn announce an activist position in a particular company. Individual investors can often get in at close to, or even lower, prices than the activist paid.
Hudson Global (HSON) is a professional recruitment and staffing company that offers managed review and legal staffing to corporations, financial services institutions and law firms. It has operations in more than 20 countries. The company has not really performed very well with sales and earnings, both down over the past five years, and this has attracted the attention of several activist investors. Last May it gave investment fund Sagard Capital a non-voting board attendee position to allow the activist firm to have a greater voice in the company's business.
Now Heartland Advisors has changed its 13%-plus holding to an active opposition. It combined with other investors to form Concerned Hudson Stockholders, a group of stockholders who own more than 14% of the company combined. The group sent a letter to the Hudson board calling for specific changes and pointing out that, "Over the past ten years, while the value of all major stock market indexes has appreciated substantially, the share price of HSON has declined in value by more than 60%."