Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman

Last Update: 02-14-2017

Number of Stocks: 8
Number of New Stocks: 0

Total Value: $5,913 Mil
Q/Q Turnover: 15%

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

Bill Ackman Watch

  • This Guru Loves Valeant; Should You?

    Francis Chou,Warren Buffett,Bill Ackman,Jeff Ubben - This Guru Loves Valeant; Should You?

    Hedge funds’ final 13F forms for 2016 were published last week, and as usual, the data has been scrutinized by the financial media. There were a few surprises in the figures, including Warren Buffett (TradesPortfolio)'s new favorite position, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and the general rotation away from tech toward financials.

    One position change that stands out, however, is not Buffett’s move but that of Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio). Chou’s Chou Associates is a traditional value fund, and Chou is well known in the value community for his investing style.


  • Francis Chou Adds to Valeant, Trims Sears in 4th Quarter

    Francis Chou,Warren Buffett,Prem Watsa,Bill Ackman - Francis Chou Adds To Valeant, Trims Sears In 4th Quarter

    Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Chou Associates Management, started an investment club in 1981 with six of his fellow telephone repairman. Throughout the next five years, Chou worked as a retail analyst at GW Asset Management where he met “Canadian Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)” Prem Watsa (Trades, Portfolio). The successful guru established his flagship fund, the Chou Associate Fund, in 1986. On an annual basis, Chou’s fund outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 index benchmark by approximately 7% on average from 1986 to 2010.

    Chou invests in companies with a value-oriented approach involving a detailed analysis of the strengths of companies, especially in regard to the balance sheet, cash flow characteristics, profitability, industry position, special strengths, future growth potential and management ability. During fourth-quarter 2016, the Chou Associates Fund manager expanded his position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX) and trimmed his position in Sears Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SHLD).


  • Bill Ackman Expands Chipotle Position, Cuts Zoetis

    Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn, Frank Sands, Stanley Druc - Bill Ackman Expands Chipotle Position, Cuts Zoetis

    Activist investor Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, buys the common stock of companies and pushes for changes so that the market can realize the values of these companies. Like fellow activist investor Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio), Ackman buys out-of-favor companies at a discount and sells them when the companies reach their appraised value.

    During fourth-quarter 2016, Ackman purchased additional shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE:CMG) and eliminated his stake in Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS). The investor also trimmed his position in three companies: Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE:VRX), Platform Specialty Products Corp. (NYSE:PAH) and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE:APD).


  • Is Value Investing Dead?

    Bill Ackman,Seth Klarman - Is Value Investing Dead?

    Value investing has changed significantly since the concept was conceived by Benjamin Graham more than 80 years ago. Today it’s tough to adopt the same style as Graham. The prevalence of financial information and stock screeners online has reduced the number of opportunities available, and investors have to be quick to take advantage of any market dislocations.

    Value investing has changed


  • Ackman, Berkowitz May Not Get Their Fannie Mae Payout So Fast Under Trump

    Bill Ackman,Bruce Berkowitz - Ackman, Berkowitz May Not Get Their Fannie Mae Payout So Fast Under Trump

    Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), who has sued to release Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) from government conservatorship, said this week he has increased confidence that the Trump administration would ensure and hasten the reform of the government-sponsored entities, a move that would further enrich him and a number of his hedge and mutual fund peers.

    Ackman has wagered roughly 9% of his hedge fund’s assets that the government would return the two entities, which it rescued from collapse in the 2008 mortgage crisis, to private ownership and end its confiscation of their profits. He, along with several other large stakeholders such as Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio) of Fairholme Fund (Trades, Portfolio), have already made sizable gains on their bets, as the market hopes for an imminent and profitable decision on the lenders’ fate. Shares of Fannie Mae that traded for under 30 cents in 2013 have already surged 150% since the election.


  • 10 Questions With Value Investor T. Aaron Brown

    Joel Greenblatt,Bill Ackman - 10 Questions With Value Investor T. Aaron Brown

    1. How and why did you get started investing? What is your background?

    I have a scenic tour background. Many turns. I was a math teacher and then a youth counselor before I started working in government. I have held agent positions with both state and federal departments. I started investing a few years out of college with a series of trial by error. My primary editor is Seeking Alpha. I like the community as it provides a lot of feedback.


  • Chipotle Could Be a 4-Bagger in 10 Years

    Bill Ackman - Chipotle Could Be A 4-Bagger In 10 Years

    Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) has been among the most successful fast food chains in recent years by providing differentiated high quality food served quickly in a good environment.

    The company claims that it uses naturally grown ingredients and serves more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant chain. Customers liked it. The number of stores grew from over 500 locations in 2006 to about 2,200 locations. But the company suffered significantly starting in November 2015 when E. coli outbreaks were linked directly to its restaurants. Comparable sales were in the negative 20%-plus range in 2016. Earnings dropped to close to zero.


  • US Retailers May Look Valuable, but Watch the Trap

    Edward Lampert,Bill Ackman - US Retailers May Look Valuable, But Watch The Trap

    After some poor holiday trading updates, investors have fled the U.S. retail sector in droves in the past few weeks extending the exodus from retail stocks that has been ongoing for around six months.

    For contrarian investors, this exodus has thrown up an interesting opportunity. Shares in retailers such as JCPenney Co. Inc. (NYSE:JCP), Kohl's Corp. (NYSE:KSS), Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE:DDS), Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M), Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) and Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) have fallen to 52-week lows and are now trading at relatively appealing valuations.


  • 3 Rules for Successfully Investing Alongside Activists

    Bill Ackman - 3 Rules For Successfully Investing Alongside Activists

    Investing alongside activist investors can be a tantalizing proposition. There are few outright bargains in the market now and a company that is trading cheaply with a definite catalyst in an activist investor gaining control can be very appealing. We have invested alongside activists several times over the years. We have had our successes and failures, so we want to share three rules we have developed over time that we believe increase the odds of an investment alongside an activist being a success.

    1. Try to buy at a similar price as the activist


  • 23 Questions With Value Investor Ari M. Eden

    Warren Buffett,Bill Ackman - 23 Questions With Value Investor Ari M. Eden

    1. How and why did you get started investing? What is your background?

    I was exposed to it a bit as a kid with some family members who were pretty big market followers, but I really didn't get into it for myself until finishing college and realizing I better learn to supplement income. After graduation I interned at a discount brokerage and then began learning all I could about the markets.


  • Technology Companies Among Strong Guru Ownership Stocks

    Bill Ackman,Carl Icahn,Warren Buffett,Stanley Druc - Technology Companies Among Strong Guru Ownership Stocks

    While all investment gurus seek long-term capital appreciation, not all gurus think identically. Some gurus invest in companies with a fundamental, value-oriented approach while other gurus, like Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) and Carl Icahn (Trades, Portfolio), actively invest in distressed companies and generate value through company reforms. However, regardless of their investing approach, gurus usually invest in companies that offer high value potential to their fund and shareholders.

    In Part 1, we analyzed the Aggregated Portfolio of Gurus, which lists the 50 companies with the highest combined weighting among the gurus selected through the “Personalized List” feature.


  • Bill Ackman Reduces Valeant Stake to Benefit Clients

    Bill Ackman - Bill Ackman Reduces Valeant Stake To Benefit Clients

    As another tumultuous year has wiped out nearly 85% of Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ market value, Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio), one of its biggest investors, sold some shares to give his clients a year-end tax break.

    Ackman’s Pershing Square hedge fund initiated its Valeant (NYSE:VRX) position in early 2015 during the drugmaker’s heyday north of $177 per share, before its price went into freefall beginning in July that year. In the first quarter 2016, Ackman responded by purchasing 5 million additional shares, but Valeant’s further drop has resulted in a total estimated loss of 81% on the stake, a blow to returns at his fund.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Herbalife

    On November 1, 2016, Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) reported its third quarter financial results. Modest financial performance in the quarter, disappointing 2017 guidance and the unexpected announcement of a CEO transition caused the stock to decline. HLF stock has traded down more than 33% since the announcement of the company’s settlement with the FTC on July 15th, 2016, a 15% year-to-date decline, as investors have come to increasingly ignore the company’s fraudulent characterization of the FTC settlement. At its December 2, 2016, price of $47.99 per share, HLF currently trades at approximately the price at which we shorted the shares in 2012.

    On a consolidated basis the company reported net sales of $1.1 billion for the quarter, up 1.7% year-over-year. Headline adjusted net income of $105 million for the quarter (down 3% YoY) translated into adjusted EPS of $1.21 (down 4% YoY). On a constant currency basis the company reported net sales growth of 5%, driven by EMEA (+15%), Mexico (+14%) and North America (+10%).


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Nomad

    Nomad (NYSE:NOMD) reported Q3 results in late November.

    Third quarter like-for-like sales declined 3.3%, which marked the fourth straight quarter of sequential improvement in like-for-like sales trends. This sequential improvement in trends is consistent with management’s guidance and driven by the company’s shift in its strategy to refocus its resources on its core product offerings.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Platform Specialty Products Corp

    In September, Platform (NYSE:PAH) hosted an investor day where it provided a detailed explanation of the secular growth drivers and unique competitive positioning of each of its Performance and Agricultural Solutions businesses, along with long-term guidance of 4% annual organic revenue growth and high-single digit annual EBITDA growth.

    The company also announced that it had reached a revised agreement with Permira to settle its $600 million preferred stock liability related to the Arysta acquisition. Under the revised agreement, Platform has the option to pay Permira $450 million in cash and 5.5 million shares, which equates to $500 million at the current market prices and represents a savings of $100 million relative to the original agreement. To finance the cash portion of the agreement, the company raised $400 million of equity and, as a result, was able to refinance $2 billion of its debt, reducing the rate on this debt by 50 basis points and extending the maturities by three years to 2023.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International

    Since our last update in August, Valeant (NYSE:VRX) has bolstered its management ranks, improved dermatology average selling prices (ASPs), stabilized its salesforces, and experienced acceleration in Salix script trends. Despite these positive developments, financial results continue to be challenged as certain unexpected events impacted Valeant in Q3 and weakness in Valeant’s U.S. Diversified Products segment continues to weigh on near- to medium-term earnings.

    Valeant reported quarterly revenue of $2.48 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $1.16 billion and Adjusted EPS of $1.55. This represented sequential improvement of 2%, 7% and 11%, respectively, as the business continues to stabilize following the disruption of recent quarters.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    Fannie (FNMA) and Freddie (FMCC)’s underlying earnings continue to progress modestly in the core mortgage guarantee business, while the non-core investment portfolio continues to shrink to a smaller and appropriate level, resulting in a more profitable and lower-risk business model. The strength in underlying earnings growth reflects two factors: (1) an increase in guarantee fees as the fees on new mortgages exceed the average fees on the existing portfolio, and (2) lower credit losses as the portfolio’s credit quality has meaningfully improved since the financial crisis.

    There were a number of legal developments this quarter. In the Federal Court of Claims case, Judge Sweeney granted the plaintiffs access to 56 documents the government had claimed were privileged, many of which were contemporaneous with the period just prior to the Net Worth Sweep and involved high level government officials. The plaintiffs have not yet had access to the privileged documents as the government has appealed Judge Sweeney’s ruling. We find it interesting that the government is fighting so hard against this ruling, as it has previously complied with the judge’s prior motions to turn over documents.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on The Howard Hughes Corp

    Net Operating Income (NOI) from HHC (NYSE:HHC)’s operating assets (consolidated and owned) decreased sequentially from $35.2 million to $31.3 million (and year-over-year from $31.9 million), largely due to headwinds in Houston that continue to negatively impact HHC’s owned hotels in Houston ($3.5 million sequential decline in hospitality NOI). HHC held steady its projected stabilized annual NOI estimate (which excludes the South Street Seaport) of $215 million and kept constant its estimated stabilized hospitality NOI levels. Land sales in its Master Planned Community (MPC) segment decreased from $59 million to $32 million year-over-year in Q3 and sequentially from $34 million due primarily to a $27 million reduction in commercial sales from Q3 2015.

    In Hawaii, at its Ward Village property, construction of the Waiea, HHC’s first residential tower, is nearing completion. HHC has started collecting the proceeds from the sale of these units. HHC’s second tower (Anaha) recently topped out and is on schedule to be completed by mid-summer 2017. The company now has five condominium projects for sale, four of which are under construction (see status of each one below). HHC executed 35 new sales contracts since the end of Q2, representing 11% of the remaining inventory under construction (reducing the number of unsold units to 280 from a total inventory of 1400 units).


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Restaurant Brands International

    QSR (NYSE:QSR) reported strong results by executing on its three key growth drivers: same store sales, net unit growth, and operational efficiency. In the third quarter, the company generated 2% same store sales growth in its Burger King and Tim Hortons concepts. While same store sales growth has decelerated over the last few quarters, it is still at a healthy overall level. Strong international growth was partially offset by weaker U.S. performance at Burger King where same store sales declined 0.5%. The decline in the U.S. is partially due to a tough comparison with last year’s quarter’s 5% growth, but also reflects a more difficult industry environment as the recent decline in food costs has widened the price gap between restaurant and grocery to historically high levels, resulting in lower restaurant traffic.

    QSR achieved net unit growth of 3% which management expects will accelerate in the fourth quarter. In addition, Tim Hortons recently announced two master franchise agreements in the U.K. and the Philippines, which should accelerate future growth.


  • Bill Ackman Comments on Air Products

    Air Products’ (NYSE:APD) fiscal year fourth quarter earnings per share of $2.01 increased 10% over the prior year. This strong performance was driven by a 260 basis point increase in operating margins. This quarter marked the ninth straight quarter of double-digit EPS growth since Seifi Ghasemi joined Air Products as its CEO.

    Sales increased 1% as 3% underlying growth was offset by a 2% drag from foreign exchange rates and the pass-through of lower energy prices. The 3% underlying growth was driven by increased volumes as pricing remained flat. Growth capex contributed to volume growth in Asia, while global economic weakness led to weak volumes elsewhere around the globe.


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