RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Shares in Labcorp spinoff Fortrea climbed 4% Tuesday after media reports said an activist investor has taken more than a 5% stake in the life science company and wants changes to improve financial performance.

The firm is Starboard Value, which has also invested in other contract research organizations such as Fortrea (Nasdaq: FTRE).

“The activist investor plans to push for changes that could boost margins among other initiatives aimed at share-price appreciation, according to people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

Shares climbed more than $1 and were trading at $31.14 in midday trading.

Fortrea reported revenues of $793 million and a gross profit of $28.3 million in its first full quarter as a public company in August.

Revenues were flat compared to Labcorp’s CRO business in the second quarter of 2022.

Fortrea, which has some 19,000 employees worldwide, announces its latest earnings on Nov. 13.