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Why Did Cognizant’s Stock Rise so Much on November 28?

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Dec. 1 2016, Published 4:10 p.m. ET

Elliott Management: a top shareholder in Cognizant

Cognizant (CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services. On November 28, 2016, Cognizant stock saw a double-digit surge. What happened?

On November 28, 2016, hedge fund and activist investor Elliott Management, headed by Paul Singer disclosed that it now owns more than 4% stake in Cognizant, with an investment value close to approximately $1.4 billion. With this stake, it has become one of the Cognizant’s top four shareholders.
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Elliott Management’s recent role in tech M&A deals

Given the hedge fund’s past success in the tech space, Cognizant’s stock surged by ~10% on the news. This has happened before. Symantec’s (SYMC) stock rose ~9% when Elliott Management took on a substantial stake in it in February 2016.

It was also Elliott Management that influenced Symantec to consider a strategic acquisition to boost its PC-dependent Consumer Security segment. The result was the recent LifeLock buyout.

Elliott Management also spurred the sale of Blue Coat to Symantec, thereby strengthening and expanding the latter’s Enterprise Security segment in the way of offerings and presence in the cybersecurity space.

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