Shares of business software company Citrix Systems were trading 6 percent higher Thursday morning after an activist shareholder pushed the company to sell at least one of its businesses and take other steps to benefit shareholders.
In a securities filing, hedge fund Elliott Management disclosed that it has acquired a 7.1 percent stake in Citrix and has written management urging the company to sell its GoTo business, which includes online meeting software GoToMeeting, and explore strategic alternatives for NetScaler, which accelerates the delivery of software applications.
Elliott also wrote that the company needs to become more cost-efficient and boost its share buyback program.
Citrix software enables a company's employees to work from anywhere online. The company moved into the Triangle in 2011 when it acquired Raleigh-based ShareFile for $54 million, and its local operations have grown much faster than the company expected. Today it has 600 employees at the company’s new offices in the Warehouse District.
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Elliott said that following its blueprint could boost Citrix shares to $90 to $100 by the end of 2016.
Thursday morning the company’s shares were trading at $70, up $4.03.
Mizuho Securities USA analyst Abhey Lamba wrote in a research note that he anticipates the company will “actively seek meaningful divestitures while improving operational metrics” in response to Elliott’s prodding.
Citrix “has been attracting the attention of activist shareholders due to prolonged under-performance,” Lamba said.