WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Activist Investor Calls on Goodyear to Boost Capital Returns
Marcato Capital calls on tire giant to return $4.5 billion over
next three years as stock languishes
Activist investor Marcato Capital wants Goodyear to target $4.5
billion in capital returns in the coming years as its stock
price languishes, despite rising truck and SUV sales and tire
demand. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS/JASON E. MICZEK
Aug. 10, 2016
6:13 p.m. ET
Activist investor Marcato Capital
Management LP is pushing
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
to return $4.5 billion to investors over the next three
years in a bid to boost the tire giant’s flagging stock price.
a letter to the Goodyear’s board Tuesday, the activist hedge fund says
it is “impressed” by Goodyear’s management and recent performance, but
lamented its languishing stock. The company’s shares are down 15% this
year, even as rising truck and SUV sales and falling gas prices lifts
demand for its tires.
believe if the company targets this magnitude of capital return, it
would create significant shareholder value, and we would not be
surprised to see the share price increase by as much as 50%-100% as a
result,” Marcato’s Richard “Mick” McGuire wrote in the letter, which
was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
spokesman for Goodyear said the company wouldn’t comment on its plans
before its Sept. 15 investor day in Boston.
McGuire, a protégé of well-known activist investor
William Ackman, founded Marcato
in 2010. The San Francisco firm first invested in Goodyear in early
2014 and held a 1.9% stake in the company as of June 30, down from
3.8% in September. The fund is down 2.7% this year after rising more
than 10% in July, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Tuesday’s letter isn’t a threatening missive and doesn’t push for
performance improvements or board changes, like typical activist
letters. Rather, it includes a long list of topics Marcato wants the
company to address at its investor day next month.
Among other things, the firm calls for Goodyear to implement specific
margin targets and provide investors with more data on how the company
has handled raw material costs. Marcato said it believes both measures
will boost investor confidence.
series of fundamental misunderstandings about the company pervade the
investor and analyst community,” Mr. McGuire wrote.
most specific request points to an analyst’s report speculating the
company could return about $3 billion to shareholders by 2019. In the
letter, Mr. McGuire said he believes that underestimates Goodyear’s
profitability and cash flow and suggested it could return as much as
Goodyear’s market value currently stands at around $7.3 billion.
Through June, Goodyear had repurchased $563 million of the $1.1
billion it said it would buy back by the end of this year.
Akron, Ohio-based company has been working to paying down debt, and
Chief Financial Officer Laura Thompson last month said the company is
evaluating what to do with its cash in the coming years.
company has pledged to release new long-term plans and address stock
buybacks at the September investor day.
Marcato has pushed for stock buybacks and other
capital-allocation changes at companies including famed auction house
Bank of New York Mellon Corp.,
its two largest investments. The firm recently disclosed new stakes in
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.
David Benoit at
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