Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman

Last Update: 07-08-2016

Number of Stocks: 9
Number of New Stocks: 1

Total Value: $8,853 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 5%

Countries: USA
Details: Top Buys | Top Sales | Top Holdings  Embed:

Bill Ackman Watch

  • Bill Ackman Comments on Herbalife in 2nd Quarter Conference Call

    During his conference call this morning, Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) presented on Herbalife’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. After summarizing background information of the case, Ackman discussed the implications of the settlement based on three complaint categories.

    On July 15, the FTC filed a complaint for a permanent injunction and relief against Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), a company in which Ackman has a large short position, charging the company with several illegal business operations. The FTC categorized these complaints into three groups: unfair practices to customers, income misrepresentation and false or unsubstantiated claims from retail sales. According to the presentation, Ackman believes the company promoted an unrealistic compensation structure: Several “distributors” claimed in their testimonials that by working at Herbalife, their monthly salaries allowed them to live an extraordinary lifestyle.


  • Bill Ackman’s Portfolio Returns Diminish as Stock Prices Decline

    Activist investor Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) founded the Pershing Square Capital Management Fund in 2003. With a simple investing approach, the fund manager seeks value by buying stocks at cheap prices and selling them once they reach their fair values. Despite having high returns in 2014, the fund experienced poor returns as of July 2016.

    For the month of June, Ackman’s fund realized a gross performance of -3.0% and a net performance of -3.1%. The fund’s year to date returns have fallen in the red: the gross return YTD is -20.4% and the net return year to date is -21.1%. The decline in stock prices likely tormented the fund manager’s portfolio.


  • Pershing Square's Statement Regarding Herbalife

    New York, July 15, 2016 //- Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. (“Pershing Square”) today released the following statement:


  • Learn from Bill Ackman’s Mistakes

    Learn from Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio)’s Mistakes

    As of Friday’s close, July 15, 2016, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings (PSH.AS, PSHZF) is down 41.3% since its IPO in October of 2014. Throughout the same timeframe, the S&P 500 is up 7.09%. Ackman has been a great portfolio manager and generated large gains of about 20% per year leading up to his IPO and gained 40.4% in 2014. Although he has experienced great success in the past, recently there are aspects of his investing that remind me of the most common mistakes that I have seen from amateur investors over my years as a stock broker. Let’s take a look at some of these characteristics that have helped lead to the large losses and use them as a learning experience.


  • Bill Ackman's Herbalife Settles With FTC, Stock Is Undervalued

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio)’s Pershing Square sustained another strike Friday when a long-time short, nutrition direct seller Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), settled with the FTC for $200 million if it made certain changes to its business model, finally laying to rest his allegation that it is a pyramid scheme.

    Ackman initially made a $1 billion short call against the company in 2012, sending its price spiraling down by more than half. His continued campaign against the stock and the FTC investigation enduring since 2014 have left the stock in limbo.


  • Bill Ackman: Herbalife Bilking People, NBC Helping Valeant Short-Seller Make Money

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) spoke to CNBC this morning on the phone. He talked about the recent public short seller attack by Andrew Left on his holding Valeant (NYSE:VRX) and why he stayed short Herbalife (NYSE:HLF).   

  • Ackman Sells Nearly a Quarter of Stake in Zoetis

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) of Pershing Square Capital Management LP reduced his stake in Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) for the second time this year with the sale of 6,081,841 shares for $47.69 per share on July 7.

    Ackman sold more than 40% of his stake in May.


  • CEO of Valeant Joseph Papa Makes $5 Million Insider Buy

    The CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), Joseph Papa, has dropped almost $5 million on 202,000 shares of the company, according to insider filings.

    Papa bought the stock on June 10, paying $24.48 per share. Valeant's stock price has fallen almost 90% over the past year and has traded for as high as $264.


  • Ackman Pared His Stake in Mondelez International In 1st Quarter

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) of Pershing Square Capital Management LP made transactions in four stocks in the first quarter, reducing his holdings in two and adding to his holdings in the others.

    Ackman pared his stake in Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ), a food processing company based in Deerfield, Illinois, by more than 47%. Ackman sold 20,424,117 shares for an average price of $40.73 per share. The deal had a -7.35% impact on Ackman’s portfolio.


  • Bill Ackman Asks Charlie Munger to Be Nicer About Valeant

    Some correspondence between Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), a major Valeant (NYSE:VRX) shareholder, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) and Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio) surfaced this week in a slew of documents the U.S. Senate committee investigating drug price gouging has released.

    In the email (below), Ackman compares Valeant to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B) in an effort to sway Munger to meet with him and CEO Michael Pearson to learn why the company isn't so bad. Munger has said Valeant is "ITT and Harold Geneen come back to life, only the guy is worse this time,” and called it "deeply immoral" and "a sewer."


  • Pershing Square's, and Ackman’s, Less Talked About Positions

    If there’s one hedge fund that has grabbed more headlines than any other this quarter it's Pershing Square, and specifically, its CEO Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio). The activist investor has long drawn the spotlight, famously with his so-called billion-dollar short position in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) and, more recently, his troubled long in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX).

    Both positions have lost the company a large sum of money (at least, that is, on paper) across the last few years and continue to do so. You don’t get to $1 billion without some competence, however. The high-profile hits aside, Ackman – and Pershing Square – has a solid portfolio of assets. Here’s a look at a few of the fund’s largest holdings and how they have performed over the last couple of years.


  • Bill Ackman Slashes Position in Zoetis

    Guru Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) and founder of Pershing Square Capital Management LP slashed his position in Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) on May 9.

    Zoetis has a market cap of $22.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 69.59, an enterprise value of $26.67 billion, a P/B ratio of 19.64 and a dividend yield of 0.77.


  • Is Seasonal Investing the Best Way to Approach the Market?

    What happens when the markets stop making sense? How do you even begin to analyze which stocks to invest in?

    Over the last two years, markets have defied conventional theories, rallied even when the global economies appeared to be struggling and in the process managed to sway several investors into believing that everything was on a roll.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Zoetis Inc.

    Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) is the only large, independent, publicly traded animal health company in the world. The company has a market capitalization of ~$23 billion and $5 billion in revenue. The Pershing Square funds currently own a 5.0% economic stake in the company, down from 8.6% as a result of a recent block sale.

    During the first quarter, adjusted revenue grew 6%. The Companion Animal segment was the star of the quarter, with growth of 20% driven by new product launches. Livestock revenue growth was nominal at 1% due to competition in U.S. swine products and mild U.S. weather.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Restaurant Brands International

    Restaurant Brands (NYSE:QSR) reported another strong quarter of underlying earnings with its results for the first quarter of 2016. The company continues to deliver strong same-store-sales growth and net unit growth at both concepts and continues to improve Tim Hortons’ cost structure.

    Same-store-sales this quarter grew 5% at Burger King and 6% at Tim Hortons as continued new product innovation, such as Grilled Dogs at Burger King and croissant breakfast sandwiches at Tim’s, drove improved results. Same-store-sales growth at Burger King U.S. was 4%, which highlights the progress the company is making in narrowing the sales gap between Burger King and its key U.S. competitors. Net units grew 4% at both concepts and management indicated that they have a strong development pipeline for new stores this year. As a result, Restaurant Brands’ organic revenue growth was 6%.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Platform Specialty Products Corp

    Platform (NYSE:PAH) reported modestly improved underlying earnings due to strong cost synergies from its recent acquisitions, which were offset by weakness in several key end markets and an increase in corporate costs. Reported earnings were lower than the prior year due to significant headwinds from FX. Still, earnings beat expectations leading to a substantial increase in PAH’s stock price.

    Platform’s organic revenue declined 1% as Ag Solutions was flat and Performance Solutions was down 2%. Ag Solutions achieved solid growth in Europe and Latin America, which was offset by market weakness in North America. Performance Solutions’ organic revenue declined primarily due to weakness in the electronics market in Asia. Although several of the company’s end markets have softened recently, Platform’s underlying results continue to outpace its competitors. Platform’s organic EBITDA was up slightly, as the benefit of cost synergies more than offset the increase in corporate costs. In Ag Solutions, organic EBITDA increased 3%, as higher cost synergies more than offset the increase in corporate expenses. In Performance Solutions, organic EBITDA declined 2%, as cost synergies were more than offset by the increase in corporate expenses. Reported EBITDA declined 6% due to the negative headwinds from FX. As a result, EPS declined nearly 30% due to the negative impact from financial leverage.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Nomad

    Nomad (NYSE:NOMD)’s acquisitions of Iglo and Findus created the leading branded frozen foods business inEurope, ~2.7 times the next largest competitor. It is the market leader in the UK, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and Sweden. The business is stable, high-margin, and cash-flow generative with low capex requirements and modest cash taxes. Nomad purchased both assets for a total of €3.3 billion or ~8 times EBITDA post-synergies. In 2015, pro forma revenue was €2.1 billion, with €345million EBITDA and €0.95 EPS ($1.06), excluding synergies which are currently estimated at €43 to €48 million.

    Recent performance has shown weak top-line trends, with like-for-like sales down 5% for 2015, the result of Iglo’s historic strategy which was to disproportionately invest behind new frozen food categories, at the expense of core offerings, in the hope of driving incremental growth. Recently, Nomad has shifted its focus back to its core offerings. This shift will take some time to impact the Company’s financial performance, but ultimately we believe it will result in renewed growth.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Mondelez

    We continue to believe that the opportunity for productivity improvement and margin expansion at Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) is significant. In February, the company announced a 2018 operating margin target of 17% to 18%. This target reflects some of the steps the company has taken over the last several years to improve its supply chain, reduce portfolio complexity, and rationalize overhead while increasing advertising and promotion. While we believe that the business is capable of higher margins, if Mondelez were to only achieve management’s target, the business would be worth significantly more than its current public market valuation.

    On April 27th, Mondelez reported first quarter 2016 results. Underlying organic growth continued its sequential acceleration, increasing about 3% in the quarter with volume up slightly. This was the best quarter for volume in two years, with growth in developed markets and in emerging markets excluding Brazil and Russia, both of which are in recession. Global growth for the snacks categories in which Mondelez participates remains healthy despite short-term demand weakness in some emerging economies. Management was confident about continued volume growth for the full year, citing the returns on their incremental brand investments and the closing of price gaps with competitors. Operating margins expanded by nearly 300 bps to just under 16% driven primarily by gross margin productivity including a substantial contribution from improvements in Mondelez’s manufacturing base.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Herbalife

    On May 5th, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) reported improved financial performance for the first quarter of the year and updated their regulatory disclosures as follows:

    “The Company is currently in discussions with the FTC regarding a potential resolution of these matters. The possible range of outcomes include the filing by the FTC of a contested civil complaint and further discussions leading to a settlement which would likely include a monetary payment and injunctive and other relief. The Company is cooperating with the investigation and at this time it is difficult to predict the timing, and the likely outcome, of these matters. The discussions with the FTC are in the advanced stages, but there are still a number of material open issues that could preclude reaching final agreement. If discussions with the FTC do not continue to progress, it is likely that litigation would ensue. Although we are confident in our legal position, litigation outcomes by their very nature are difficult to predict and there can be no assurance of a particular outcome.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Herbalife

    On May 5th, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) reported improved financial performance for the first quarter of the year and updated their regulatory disclosures as follows:

    “The Company is currently in discussions with the FTC regarding a potential resolution of these matters. The possible range of outcomes include the filing by the FTC of a contested civil complaint and further discussions leading to a settlement which would likely include a monetary payment and injunctive and other relief. The Company is cooperating with the investigation and at this time it is difficult to predict the timing, and the likely outcome, of these matters. The discussions with the FTC are in the advanced stages, but there are still a number of material open issues that could preclude reaching final agreement. If discussions with the FTC do not continue to progress, it is likely that litigation would ensue. Although we are confident in our legal position, litigation outcomes by their very nature are difficult to predict and there can be no assurance of a particular outcome.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    Fannie (FNMA)’s and Freddie (FMCC)’s underlying earnings continued to progress modestly in the core mortgage guarantee business as the guarantee fee rate increased and credit costs declined. In addition, the non-core investment portfolio continued to shrink, resulting in a less risky and more capital-light business model. While underlying earnings improved, reported earnings remained volatile due to non-cash, accounting-based derivative losses in the non-core investment portfolio. As a result of the derivative losses and the Net Worth Sweep, the companies are at risk of requiring a capital draw from Treasury to maintain a positive net worth. As a result, there recently have been a number of proposals from policymakers, trade groups, and industry analysts that seek to have the GSEs retain capital so they are capitalized on a standalone basis.

    In the Perry case in the D.C. Court of Appeals, new evidence came to light that shows Treasury entered into the Net Worth Sweep immediately after learning from Fannie Mae’s CFO that the company expected to soon realize ~$50 billion of profits from reversing a deferred tax allowance and expected to become sustainably profitable over time. We believe this new evidence further bolsters the Perry and Fairholme cases and our contention that the Net Worth Sweep is illegal.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Canadian Pacific Railway Limited

    On April 20th, CP (NYSE:CP) reported that first quarter revenue had declined 5%, as a result of the tepid macro-economic environment. On the earnings call, CP President Keith Creel highlighted that volumes will likely be down 6% for Q2, but that trends should improve in the second half of the year as comps get easier. Management expressed its view that Q2 will be the bottom for volumes and that the Canadian economy appears to be stabilizing.

    Despite muted growth, CP’s operational transformation continues, as the company announced that it had achieved a record Operating Ratio (“OR”) of 58.9%. This result was a 430 bps improvement over last year, largely due to reduced headcount which was down 13% year-over-year. The winter quarters typically have higher ORs, given the lower volume levels and more challenging operating conditions caused by weather, making this record OR feat all the more impressive.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Air Products and Chemicals

    APD (NYSE:APD) delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings-per-share (“EPS”) growth under the leadership of CEO Seifi Ghasemi, despite continued foreign exchange (“FX”) and other headwinds. In the first quarter of 2016 (APD’s fiscal 2Q), the company grew EPS by 17%, exceeding consensus estimates by a modest amount. Results were driven by a significant improvement in margins which increased 500 basis points (“bps”) during the quarter to 23.4%. Now halfway through its fiscal year, the company also increased annual EPS guidance modestly to $7.40 to $7.55 or 12% to 14% growth for Fiscal Year 2016.

    While the margin improvement was impressive, the company’s volume trends reflected the current economic environment and muted global growth. Sales were $2.3 billion, down 6%, due to decreased energy pass-through (-3%) and FX headwinds (-3%). Underlying growth was flat, on flat volume and pricing. In North America and Europe, APD continued to grow price 1% to 2%, a level it has achieved since Seifi joined. APD can control pricing more than volume, so we view this as a positive sign that the company should be able to sustain modest price growth if and when global growth and volume returns.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Valeant

    We have made material progress at Valeant (NYSE:VRX) since our last communication. Shortly after Steve Fraidin and I joined the board in March, the company launched a search process for a new CEO. On May 2nd, Joe Papa, formerly the Chairman and CEO of Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO), joined Valeant as its Chairman and CEO. We believe that Joe is an ideal choice for Valeant as he has extensive senior leadership experience in all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, a strong reputation for integrity, and an excellent track record at Perrigo as reflected by the company’s 24% compounded annual return to shareholders during his tenure. Joe is passionate about the opportunity for value creation at Valeant, and we are excited to have him on board.


  • Bill Ackman's 1st Quarter Letter to Shareholders

    Dear Shareholder:

    Performance of Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd. is set forth below1:


  • Bill Ackman Is Selling Zoetis but Other Gurus Are Jumping In

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) is said to be preparing to partially withdraw from pet health care company Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) where he had waged an activist campaign, but first-quarter portfolios rolling in this month already show several other well-known managers have piled in.

    Anonymous sources told The New York Times and Bloomberg that Ackman offered 16.9 million of his Zoetis shares up for sale starting Monday. The sell represented roughly 40% of his total stake of 41,823,145 shares.


  • Valeant's Formation of Drug Pricing Committee Sends Shares Down 9%

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) fell 9% by mid-afternoon Friday after announcing a new pricing committee that may limit its torrid growth.

    The Patient Access and Pricing Committee will decide prices of the company’s drugs. Valeant also acknowledged price gouging that came under scrutiny recently. One of its most vocal detractors, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A)(NYSE:BRK.B)’s Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio) called it a “sewer,” and the U.S. Senate summoned its leaders to testify at a hearing on drug corporations’ pricing practices in the past two weeks. A major investor, Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), has unwaveringly defended the company, joining its board last month to help restore its stock, which is down roughly 85% in the past year.


  • Ackman Defends Valeant From Buffett, Munger Criticism

    Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) appeared on CNBC Monday to defend against the latest criticism of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), this time from the most well-known value investors themselves, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) and Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio).

    On Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) annual shareholder meeting, Munger referred to Valeant as a “sewer” in what will likely be a widely cited quote for the next few months. Speaking with Becky Quick on CNBC, Munger, who serves as chairman of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, said Valeant’s business practices have been “robbing” hospitals, for example by raising prices of a heart drug by 100%. Munger had scathing words for outgoing CEO Michael Pearson’s response to the controversy.


  • Ackman to Testify About Valeant Before Senate

    Activist investor Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) will testify before the Senate Special Committee on Aging Wednesday regarding his involvement with Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), along with outgoing CEO Michael Pearson, just a day after Joseph Papa of Perrigo (NYSE:PRGO) was announced as Pearson’s replacement.

    The hearing titled “Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ Business Model: the Repercussions for Patients and the Health Care System” will also include former Valeant CFO Howard Schiller, who was asked to resign last month due to improper conduct that led to misstatement of financial results.  

  • Why Bill Ackman Is Cutting Back on Canadian Pacific

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) has been cutting back on Canadian Pacific (NYSE:CP) by selling a massive amount of shares as shown by GuruFocus' Real Time Picks. The move is somewhat surprising because on the recent quarterly call, the firm’s outlook was very bullish:


  • With Ackman Down It May Be Right Time to Back Him

    Pershing Square Holdings trades at a 10% discount to its NAV ($15.73 to $17.43). Historically, the discount has averaged around 5% since the IPO. The holding IPO’ed in 2014.

    It’s not uncommon for holding companies of star managers to trade at a slight premium when they go on a winning streak. Ackman is very much not on a winning streak. In fact, he is getting taken to the cleaners in a very public way because of his Valeant (NYSE:VRX) investment.


  • Canadian Pacific Ends Plans to Acquire Norfolk Southern

    This week Canadian Pacific (NYSE:CP) announced it would no longer be continuing its acquisition bid for Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC). After repeated refutes from Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific was preparing to bring the acquisition proposal to Norfolk Southern’s shareholders.

    A number of factors influenced Canadian Pacific’s decision to withdraw the takeover plan, however, one of the main influencing factors was Norfolk Southern’s repeatedly adamant view that its business strategy was successfully leading the company to greater shareholder value on its own. Norfolk Southern’s CEO James Squires, who was appointed in June 2015, has been implementing a restructuring plan for the company. The plan includes substantial revenue initiatives specifically focused on intermodal and merchandising sales. In terms of cost structures, the firm also has significant improvement plans in place for pricing discipline and increased operating efficiency. These plans appear to be winning the votes of shareholders, though the stock continues to trade volatilely, down 4.1% for the year.


  • Notes From the Pershing Square 1st Quarter Call

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) of Pershing Square Capital just held his first quarter call discussing the fund’s holdings.

    Due to the fund’s concentrated position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), it had a disastrous 2015 and an even more disastrous first quarter of 2016. As of April 5 the NAV per share sat at $15.60 and the year-to-date return for the holding was -24.6%. Ackman called it a difficult quarter on a mark-to-market basis, implying intrinsic value of Pershing’s positions is much higher.


  • Highlights of Bill Ackman’s 1st Quarter Pershing Square Conference Call

    Head of hedge fund Pershing Square Management Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) hosted his first-quarter conference call Wednesday where he provided details about his many losses and few gains in the past several quarters. He also outlined developments at his top investments and where he sees value versus the market.

    Ackman is down 25.6% for the first quarter with ill-fated bets like Valeant (NYSE:VRX) and a bet against Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), which he defends in the call. Due to a sell of Mondelez and transaction with Air Products and Chemicals, his fund is holding substantial cash.


  • In Search of Profitable Stocks Using Gross Profitability

    This metric is awesome.

    It's one of the newer metrics that has earned a firm spot in my toolbox.


  • Time To Buy Allergan

    Allergan (NYSE:AGN) stock has dropped a lot because of rumors Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) will walk away from their deal.

    Pfizer made no attempt to pretend the deal was about anything but lowering its tax bill by relocating its headquarters to Ireland, Allergan’s homestead. The Irish tax rate compares favorably to the U.S. at 12.5%; when you are making billions in profits, it’s worth it to pay a couple of lawyers to figure it out. It seems the U.S. Treasury is now inventing new ways to apply rules just to spite Pfizer, and it looks like that’s working.


  • Avoid Piggybacking

    I don’t know how many articles you’ve read about Valeant (VRX) in the past few weeks, but it’s probably safe to say too many. This article, you might be happy to hear, has very little to do with Valeant – mostly because I have nothing new or intelligent to say about the company (it’s buried deep in my “too hard” pile). Instead, it’s about following the lead of others when investing.

    I had CNBC on a few days ago when some breaking news about Valeant was revealed. I turned up the volume in time to hear Jim Cramer say, in a nutshell, that Valeant is a complete disaster: there’s a lack of corporate governance, no one inside or outside the company has any sense for the numbers and so on. Later, on "Mad Money," Cramer rolled his eyes when talking about CEO “leadership” at Valeant. He summed up his thoughts on the saga a few days ago:


  • Bill Ackman Trims Position in Mondelez International

    Guru Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) reduced his position in Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) by more than 47% with the sale of 20,424,117 shares on March 16.

    Mondelez International was formerly known as Kraft Foods until the company completed the spinoff of its North American grocery business, Kraft Food Groups. Mondelez International manufactures and markets food and beverage products for consumers in 165 countries around the world. The company owns nine billion-dollar brands such as Oreo, Nabisco; Milka, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs coffee and Tang powdered beverages.


  • The Bromance at the Heart of the Valeant Disaster

    When, in April 2014, Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) and Michael Pearson came on stage together at the Equitable Center in midtown Manhattan to unveil their unorthodox bid to buy drug company Allergan (NYSE:AGN), the two men couldn’t have appeared more different.

    Pearson, the CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), was frumpy, overweight and gruff. Hedge fund billionaire Ackman was, as always, impeccably groomed, trim and silver-tongued. What brought them together was their joint love of big deals – and big profits. Ackman seemed in awe of Pearson’s dealmaking and his legendary thriftiness. In his remarks, Ackman pointed out admiringly that Pearson wouldn’t allow Valeant shareholders to be on the hook for half of what it had cost to rent the auditorium they were using to announce the deal. Ackman had to pick up the tab himself.


  • Bill Ackman Explains Expanded Role at Valeant in New Letter


    Dear Pershing Square Investor,


  • What Is Downside?

    One of the most quoted sayings in investing goes like this: “If you take care of the downside, the upside will take care of itself.”

    This sounds so simple. People say they control risks by considering the downside in every investment and they make decisions based on the so-called risk-reward ratio – risk being the downside and reward being the upside. Very few investors appropriately implement the idea of taking care of the downside. Even many of the gurus listed on this forum failed to heed this piece of timeless wisdom.


  • An Attempt to Value Valeant Just for Fun

    Until last week, I had been just a casual observer of Valeant (NYSE:VRX). My knowledge of the company was limited to:


  • Valeant: Heads I Win, Tails I Don't Lose Much

    There are several reasons to dislike Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX). Lack of management credibility, accounting irregularities and other legal investigations related to a price increase on a couple of drugs have caused its share price to fall from the high of $260 to $28.95. Investors in the company, including me, had a stomach-churning experience.

    It's always disheartening to see the value of the investment fall within a space of few months, or even days in this case. The market has a way of humbling even the best of hedge fund managers: Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), Value Act, Sequoia and Lou Simpson (Trades, Portfolio) all have large stakes in Valeant. A few of them had a cost basis in the mid 100's.


  • Ackman Named to Valeant Board as Search for New CEO Begins

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) announced today that it will replace CEO Michael Pearson and name major shareholder Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) to the board of directors. Pearson will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is named, and Katharine Stevenson will resign from the board to make room for Ackman.

    The company also said that CFO Howard Schiller has been asked to resign from the board due to improper conduct that resulted in incorrect information, but he has not yet done so. Valeant is already in the process of revising its numbers for fiscal 2014, and plans to include them with the 2015 report that will be filed with the SEC and Canadian Securities Regulators by April 29. Just last week, Valeant said the delayed filing would put the company at risk for defaulting on some of its debt.  

  • What We Can Learn Vicariously From Valeant Fiasco

    One of the most-read news of this week has been the Valeant (NYSE:VRX) statement on Tuesday, with a lower guidance for first quarter 2016, coupled with red ink across the fourth quarter results. To add scrutiny, the news have been followed with more interest as Bill Ackman, who was cherished by Wall Street last year as one of the most promising hedge fund managers, has 20% of its hedge fund capital invested in Valeant. So without saying who is wrong and who is right in this story, what are the lessons that we can learn vicariously, as Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio) suggests us to do?

    Know yourself: From Shakespeare's Hamlet, the following verse stems:


  • Bill Ackman Could Learn From Technical Analysis

    Taking concentrated fundamental bets is no different than playing craps in Vegas.

    By now you’ve heard about Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) and his white whale — Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX). In 2015, Valeant plummeted, and Ackman’s fund was down 20.5%. His misfortune continued into 2016 with his fund losing another 26% year to date after Valeant’s latest drop. Valeant’s share price was cut in half that day, and the troubled manager lost a cool billion on his position. Talk about a bad day at the office.


  • The Art of Finding, Analyzing and Researching Stocks Faster and Better


    Make fast and good decisions when picking and analyzing stocks.


  • Pershing Square Sells Mondelez to Raise Cash After Valeant Plunge

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), after a string of misfortune including a 50% one-day drop in his holding Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX), unloaded some of his stake in Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ), he said in a letter to shareholders Wednesday.

    Ackman sold 20 million of his 43,366,342 shares in the company that he bought in the third quarter 2015 and continued to hold at fourth quarter-end. The investor has said in his latest shareholder letter he owned a total of approximately 105 million Mondelez shares and derivatives combined. In the past year, shares of Mondelez, the snack food company spun off from Kraft, gained around 21%.


  • Valeant Sinks 50%, Warns It Is at Risk of Debt Default

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:VRX) tumbled to almost half its valuation Tuesday afternoon after releasing preliminary results for the fourth quarter and guidance for the next 12 months that prompted fears of default from investors.

    The second largest guru shareholder Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) released a letter to Pershing Square shareholders reiterating the firm’s belief in Valeant’s underlying value, writing that with the recent appointment of Pershing Vice Chairman Steve Fraidin to Valent’s board, Pershing will be taking a more active role in the company.


  • Bill Ackman Doesn't Stop Believing in Valeant, Gives Statement

    Ackman, leader of hedge fund Pershing Square, made a statement about his largest holding, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which plunged Tuesday due to its revised earnings guidance and threat of debt default. Statement below:

    Amsterdam, 15 Mar. 2016 //- Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd. today released an email to investors. The text of the email is set forth below:


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