Activists apply pressure

Article Excerpt

STUART OLSON INC. $5.75 (Toronto symbol SOX; TSINetwork Rating: Speculative) (780-454-3667; www.stuartolson.com; Shares outstanding: 27.8 million; Market cap: $152.8 million; Dividend yield: 8.4%) is now in the sights of activist investors Crescendo Partners L.P. and Jamarant Capital L.P. The New York-based investment firms have declared unspecified stock interests in Stuart Olson and now want to pick one or more members for its board of directors. They have also asked the company to explore strategic alternatives—including putting itself up for sale. The activists think that Stuart Olson is undervalued given the prospects for big spending by the Canadian federal and Alberta governments on pipelines and infrastructure. It’s uncertain which direction the company will take, or whether the activists can force a sale. Either way, their involvement highlights the company’s underlying value and potential. Stuart Olson is still a hold. hold…

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