Activist investor Starboard Value LP has a sizable stake in Splunk Inc. and plans to push the software maker to take action to boost its stock price, according to people familiar with the matter. Starboard’s stake is just under 5%, the people said. The hedge fund often targets software companies that could benefit from operational and margin improvements or be attractive takeover targets.
Starboard founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smith is appearing at an activist-investing conference, the 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit, Tuesday, and is expected to detail the fund’s thesis then, the people said. Splunk
founded in 2003, makes software used by companies’ information-technology and security operations to monitor threats and analyze data. It has a market value of around $11.4 billion after the shares dropped nearly 40% this year amid a broader selloff of technology stocks. In late March, its market value was nearly $24 billion and at the peak in September 2020 was above $35 billion as the pandemic stoked demand for cloud computing. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com. Also popular on WSJ.com: Company documents show Meta’s flagship metaverse falling short. Want to get ahead? Pick the right company.