An example of how to read 13D filings
Today Legion Partners filed an SC 13D reporting an ownership stake of 5.19% in OneSpan Inc (NASDAQ: OSPN). The filing email alert (shown below) was sent to subscribers of 13dfiling.com.
Once you click on the either link in the email, you will be taken to the SEC site that has the 13D filing, shown below:
Clicking on the Document, highlighted, will take you to the actual 13D filing.
A couple of interesting things to look for in the filings are:
1. Item 4: Purpose of transaction, this is where you might find part of the activist investor's investment thesis and intentions.
Some highlights in this particular "Purpose of Transaction" are Legion's belief that OneSpan is "undervalued" and "an attractive investment opportunity". We suggest you read the entire section which explains their reasoning and is a good example of what to expect while reading activist 13D filings.
2. Schedules showing 13D filer's transactions, in this filing under Schedule A at the bottom of the document is a table of Legion's transactions. You have the benefit of knowing their purchase prices.
Based on this table Legion's average purchase price is ~$17.71, while closing price on 11/1/2018 was $15.34, a 13.4% discount to Legion's average purchase price.
It is usually a good idea to do some homework on the activist investor you are considering "co-investing" with. Legion Partners for example has a decent amount of info on their website, but you should also look for past activist campaigns and the outcomes.
Do your own homework on the company - does the activist's investment thesis make sense? Will the activist be able to unlock the value? Is there value to be unlocked?
This 13D filing (Legion Partners/OneSpan) was used for example purposes, we don't currently have positions in OneSpan, we may do more homework and determine it has potential and purchase some shares in the near future. This is not investment advise nor a recommendation to buy.