A. Activist Funds' involvement in a company tend to generate news splash, but its track record is mixed at best, based on a recent comprehensive Walls Street Journey study.
Activist funds often demand the target companies to buy back stocks, split businesses, get board seats, or even sell the companies, or a combination of some or all of these. While high profile success stories are plenty, there are huge failures too.
One thing the WSJ study pointed out is that when an activist fund has long term time frame and plans, its success rate will be higher. It's best to avoid those trade for short term gains, especially for small investors who want to take the free rides, it's not that easy.
For more details on the WSJ study, visit this link, it lists all of the major cases studied.