This Week's Activist Filings

By Sham Gad | June 12, 2012 AAA

A strong sell-off in May has not gone unnoticed by many investment professionals. Investors have pounced on the opportunity to take advantage of attractive prices, understanding that price is what you pay and value is what you get.

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Value Fund Pounces
Gamco Investors (NYSE:GBL), founded by value investor Mario Gabelli, was very active over the past few weeks. Auto repair shop Pep Boys (NYSE:PBY) saw its share price drop by over 30% after a deal to buy the company was terminated, Gamco wasted no time buying another 1.2 million shares, bringing its total stake to just over 2.3 million shares, or 5.4% of the company. Pep Boys now trades for $9 a share after an offer to buy the company for $15 went bust.

SEE: Use Breakup value To Find Undervalued Companies

Gamco also disclosed positions in LeCroy (Nasdaq:LCRY) and Smart Balance (Nasdaq:SMBL). Gamco owns 1.3 million shares or 7.8% of the company after buying a million shares for just over $14 a share. LeCroy, a maker of scientific instruments, has agreed to be bought out by Teledyne Technologies for $14.30 a share. Shares currently trade for approximately $14.19. Smart Balance is a small cap producer of food products, including its popular butter spreads and popcorn. Gamco disclosed ownership of over 3 million shares, or 5.3% of the company. Gamco paid as high as $6.69 a share; today shares change hands for $7.20. Odds are Gamco sees significant upside potential from its purchase price, so at current levels the company likely remains very attractive to Gamco.

SEE: Evaluating A Company's Management

Going Active
Investment group Becker Drapkin is now actively seeking a Board seat at retailer Tuesday Morning (Nasdaq:TUES). Tuesday Morning is a discount retailer of decorative home accessories. Shares trade for $4.40 and are down over 60% in the past year. Becker Drapkin has experienced an average return of over 80% in its last seven 13D filings. Shares in TUES have been depressed for some time and Becker's involvement could prove to be very valuable. If past performance serves as any indication of potential future performance, Tuesday shares could be a very intriguing opportunity.

SEE: Digging In To 13D Disclosures

The Bottom Line
The market is loaded with turmoil, which tends to scare away investors with a low risk tolerance but presents opportunities to many of the world's seasoned and skilled investors, who exploit these stocks' attractive buying prices. You can find some attractive ideas by paying close attention to these moves.

At the time of writing, Sham Gad did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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