Staar Surgical, Howard Hughes Holdings, and More Stocks See Action From Activist Investors

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These disclosures are from 13Ds filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 13Ds are filed within 10 days of an entity’s attaining more than 5% in any class of a company’s securities. Subsequent changes in holdings or intentions must be reported in amended filings. This material is from Oct. 5 through Oct. 11, 2023. Source: VerityData

Increases in Holdings

Staar Surgical
(STAA)

Broadwood Capital lifted its position in the maker of implantable lenses for the eye to 9,469,723 shares. Broadwood purchased 686,641 Staar Surgical shares at prices ranging from $37.01 to $42.11 apiece from Sept. 5 through Oct. 6. Broadwood now owns a 19.5% interest in the lens maker. Broadwood noted that it would “remain attentive to the importance of corporate governance matters and shareholder alignment.” It also intends to be in contact with Staar Surgical’s board and other shareholders in regards to the above. Staar Surgical shares have slipped about 19% so far this year.

Howard Hughes Holdings
(HHH)

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management raised its interest in the real estate developer to 16,965,881 shares.
Pershing Square
acquired 395,653 Howard Hughes shares from Aug. 16 through Oct. 5 at per share prices ranging from $69.91 to $74.96. Pershing Square now owns 33.9% of Howard Hughes’ outstanding stock. The shares have lost roughly a tenth of their value since the start of this year.

Decreases in Holdings

Star Bulk Carriers
(SBLK)

Oaktree Capital cut its position in the shipping company to 16,067,483 shares. Through a Sept. 22 repurchase agreement between Star Bulk Carriers and Oaktree Capital affiliate XL Holdings, Star Bulk Carriers repurchased 10,000,000 of its shares from XL Holdings at a price of $18.50 each, a transaction that closed on Oct. 9. Oaktree Capital’s interest in Star Bulk Carriers dropped to 17.3% from 25.2%, and, as a result, Oaktree Capital’s board representation at Star Bulk Carriers will decrease to two directors from three. Shares have managed a 2% rise so far this year.

Appian
(APPN)

Abdiel Capital trimmed its stake in the business-process software company to 9,371,954 shares. Abdiel sold 750,000 Appian shares on Oct. 4 at a price of $41.43 each, reducing its position in the software firm to 22.5%.

In September, Appian secured a $500 million judgment preservation insurance policy, tied to an earlier trade-secret case against
Pegasystems
(PEGA) heard in Virginia state court. The court found in favor of Appian and awarded the firm $2.036 billion in damages in May 2022, a ruling upheld later that same year. Pegasystems has appealed the decision.

Appian’s insurance policy will ensure that if the final judgment falls below $500 million after all appeals are exhausted, Appian will receive a payment equal to the difference between the award and $500 million.

William Blair analyst Jake Roberge reiterated an Outperform rating on Appian stock in early September, when the company announced the insurance policy. Appian “continues to execute well, as its market-leading low-code platform delivers,” wrote Roberge in a research report.

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