Hedge funds and C-suites: Icahn prepares for proxy fight at Illumina | Pro Recap

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Hedge funds and C-suites: Icahn prepares for proxy fight at Illumina | Pro Recap
Credit: © Reuters.

By Davit Kirakosyan

Investing.com -- Here is your Pro Recap of the biggest news out of hedge funds and company top brass you may have missed in the past week.

Carl Icahn to launch a proxy fight at Illumina

Activist investor Carl Icahn is preparing to launch a proxy fight at Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN ), seeking three board seats, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to Icahn, the biotech company's acquisition of Grail costed shareholders $50 billion and is now costing the company $800 million annually. Icahn nominated Vincent Intrieri, Jesse Lynn, and Andrew Teno to Illumina's board and claims that three shareholder representatives are needed to put an end to what he called "reckless decision-making."

He also said that he tried to strike a deal with Illumina before starting a proxy battle. Illumina responded by urging shareholders to vote against Icahn's nominees, stating that its current board represents the interests of its stockholders.

Shares rose more than 3% pre-market today.

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Hedge funds' Europe stock buying spree unlikely to be maintained

JPMorgan warned that despite European hedge funds having one of their highest levels of bullish equity positioning in five years, rising interest rates and negative bond market signals may dampen their appetite for stocks.

Hedge funds have been covering their short positions, which has supported European share prices since November, with less buying of UK equity. While trend funds, or CTAs, have remained bullish for longer than usual, some hedge funds have added long positions since February, JPMorgan questions whether this trend will continue.

"The potential for cyclicals to keep getting bought as much as they have lately - by hedge funds at least - also seems unlikely," JPMorgan said.

DocuSign CFO leaves, spooking investors

DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU ) shares plunged more than 22% on Friday after the surprise departure of CFO Cynthia Gaylor unnerved investors. The company said that Gaylor intends to step down in the coming months.

The company has initiated a search to identify the company's next CFO. Gaylor will remain in her role to ensure a smooth transition, including through the announcement and filing of the company's Q1/24 results.

3 more big management changes

Domo (NASDAQ: DOMO ) announced CEO John Mellor had resigned and said it appointed founder Josh James as a replacement, as well as a new CFO and CRO. The company also reported guidance that came in under the analyst consensus.

Shares plunged more than 19% on Tuesday, closing the week with a 22% loss.

PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL ) announced that CFO Blake Jorgensen will be resigning from his role with immediate effect, noting that Jorgensen's decision to step down was not due to any disagreements or disputes with the company.

He will remain with the company as a senior advisor until September 15, 2023. Gabrielle Rabinovitch will continue to serve as acting CFO and SVP, Investor Relations and Treasurer.

Stitch Fix (NASDAQ: SFIX ) announced that Dan Jedda will step down as CFO to pursue another opportunity and will be succeeded by David Aufderhaar, SVP of Finance, Stitch Fix effective April 3.

The company missed its Q2 results last week but raised its EBITDA guidance for 2023.

Shares closed the week with nearly a 6% loss.

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