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Alexander Roepers Selling Off Oil States International (OIS) Above $40, Plus a Look at His Q1 Performance

It appears Alexander RoepersAtlantic Investment Management has had a change of heart regarding Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS). After increasing his position in the manufacturer of drilling equipment and provider of drilling services during the fourth quarter by 30% with several purchases well above $45, Roepers has begun to sell off the position for anything he can get above $40, while continuing to supplement it with purchases below $40. His latest filing reports ownership of 2.14 million shares, a 4.2% activist stake, a big decline from the 3.85 million shares he reported ownership of in a filing at the end of January.

Alexander Roepers

The selloff seems to indicate that Roepers was unable to achieve what he hoped to with his activist stance, which may have been a sale of Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) to a larger oil company. Alternatively, he may have been frustrated with the continuing weakness in oil prices, which has dragged down shares of Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) despite it being less intrinsically tied to oil prices than an actual oil producer. Oil States International had returns of -18.67% in the first quarter.

It’s been a downhill run for Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) since it completed its spinoff of Civeo Corp (NYSE:CVEO), its former lodging business, at the end of May, 2014. That move was made at the behest of a pair of activist investors, Barry Rosenstein and David Einhorn. Rosenstein’s JANA Partners has since exited its positions in both companies. Civeo has likewise struggled since its separation, down by 83.9% to just $3.66 since it went solo. Einhorn does still maintain a small position in Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) and a slightly larger position in Civeo, while billionaire Steve Cohen opened a new position in Oil States International during the fourth quarter.

Owens-Illinois Inc (NYSE:OI) was Roepers’ top pick heading into 2015, his position consisting of 12.22 million shares valued at $329.82 million. A manufacturer of glass products and containers, Owens-Illinois Inc (NYSE:OI) also had a difficult quarter, with shares falling by 13.60%. Shares took a big dip in early March after Owens-Illinois provided first quarter earnings guidance that came under estimates at $0.40 to $0.45 per share. Roepers has by far the greatest exposure to Owens-Illinois Inc (NYSE:OI) among funds in our database, at nearly 21%. The next highest was the less than 5% exposure to the stock of Julian Allen’s Spitfire Capital.

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