It appears Alexander Roepers’ Atlantic 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.
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.