This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to Pershing Square's US stock portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Ackman's regulatory 13F Form filed on 08/14/2013. Please visit our Tracking Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Holdings article for an idea on how his holdings have progressed over the years and our previous update highlighting the fund's moves during Q1 2013.
Ackman's portfolio increased 8.7% from $10.07B to $10.95B this quarter. The number of positions remained steady at 9. The small (1.82% of US long portfolio) position in Mondelez International was eliminated and a fairly large 8.44% position in Air Products & Chemicals (APD) was established this quarter. The portfolio remains heavily concentrated with a few large bets: the top five positions account for around 78% of the total portfolio value.New stakes:
Air Products & Chemicals : The 8.44% of the US long portfolio new APD stake was purchased at prices between $92.80 and $96.59. The position was since doubled at prices between $91 and $107 per a July 31st Schedule 13D filing. The stake currently stands at 9.8% of the business. At roughly $2.2B, this is the biggest activist stake ever for Bill Ackman.Stake Disposals:
Mondelez International (MDLZ): MDLZ is a small 1.82% of the US long portfolio position established last quarter at prices between $25.45 and $30.62 and disposed of this quarter at prices between $28.34 and $31.86. The stock currently trades above that range at $30.96. The quick turnaround indicates a bearish bias.Stake Increases:
Procter & Gamble Co (PG) & CALLS: PG is a huge ~24% of the US long portfolio activist position established in Q2 2012 at a price-range between $59.27 and $67.57. The stake was increased by 28.55% in Q3 2012 at prices between $61.19 and $69.76. In Q4 2012, the long position was kept steady while the call options were reduced by one-third. The pattern continued last quarter as the call options were reduced by another 78%. This quarter saw a huge reversal as the long position was drastically reduced while simultaneously increasing the position in the call options. The stock currently trades at around $79.90. Activist roles are effective when a good portion (over 10% ideally) of the outstanding shares are acquired or otherwise controlled by the investor concerned. This is not the case with Ackman's position in PG as he controls only about 1% of the outstanding shares. Even so, the position has worked so far, as the stock is trading well above his cost-basis. In the Ira Sohn conference earlier this month, Ackman indicated that the shares could be worth $125 per share in two years, if financials improve and PG achieves $6 EPS. He also called for the need to separate the CEO and Chairman roles at the company. The overall position was increased by ~17.5% this quarter but the options exposure indicates Ackman going for the leverage - he was probably freeing up capital to establish positions in other parts of the portfolio - it might also be that there is pressure due to the losing trades in Herbalife (HLF) (short - not a 13F holding) and JC Penney (JCP).Stake Decreases:
General Growth Properties (GGP): GGP is one of Ackman's biggest wins at Pershing Square. He acquired the stake during bankruptcy in Q2 2009 in the $1 price-range and the stock currently trades at $19.57! The stake was kept steady last quarter after it was increased by around 3.5% in Q3 2012 at prices between $17.20 and $20.99. This quarter, the position was reduced by 9.3% at prices between $19.32 and $23.33. The position still accounts for 12.30% of Ackman's US long portfolio. Investors attempting to follow Ackman should wait for a better entry point.
Matson Inc. (MATX): MATX stake was acquired as part of its spin-off from Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (ALEX). It is a small 0.74% stake that was reduced by around 17% last quarter at prices between $24.25 and $27.41. This quarter, the position was further reduced to an insignificantly small 0.05% position at prices between $21.85 and $26.27. The stock currently trades at around $28 compared to the spin-off price of ~$26.
The remaining positions were untouched during the quarter:
Canadian Pacific Railway (CP): CP is his largest 13F position at 26.78% of the US long portfolio. The stake was established in Q3 2011 with the bulk purchased in Q4 2011 at prices between $46.05 and $71.82. The stock currently trades at around $122. Ackman reigned in management and board changes at the company by winning a proxy battle in May last year. Ackman is sitting on huge gains on this position.
Beam Inc. (BEAM): BEAM is a spin-off from Fortune Brands and the stock is up around 32% since the spin-off in September 2011. Ackman acquired the stake in Fortune Brands in 2010 and his cost-basis is well below the spin-off price. It currently accounts for 12% of the US long portfolio. Ackman is sitting on huge gains on this position as well.
Burger King Worldwide (BKW): BKW is a 6.84% of the US long portfolio stake that was established in Q3 2012 at prices between $13.03 and $15.88. The position was increased marginally last quarter at prices between $16.31 and $19.95. The stock currently trades at $19.32. Ackman's investment in Burger King Worldwide started with a transaction to acquire 29% of the company for $1.4B in April 2012. The acquisition was done through Justice Holdings, a British company controlled by Ackman. That stake is not reported in the 13F filings as Justice Holdings is a UK listed investment vehicle - it is not a 13F security. Including that, the investment in BKW rivals his stakes in Procter & Gamble and Canadian Pacific Railway , his largest positions.
J C Penney : JCP is a 6.09% of the US long portfolio stake established in 2010 at a purchase price of around $25. JCP has been very volatile with the stock trading as high as $43 in February 2012 and dropping to as low as $12.34 this month. It currently trades at $13.40. Ron Johnson (Apple fame) was brought in as CEO but was replaced as his initiatives resulted in a 25% drop in sales. A Schedule 13D amendment filed on July 31st indicates that Pershing might choose to sell the stake - Ackman resigned from JC Penney board on August 12th as a result of a disagreement with the CEO succession plan. Pershing's ownership of the business currently stands at 17.7%.
Howard Hughes Corp (HHC): HHC is a small 2.97% of the US long portfolio position that was first purchased in 2010. The stake has remained untouched during the whole period. The stock is up over 45% YTD. Ackman called HHC one of the best kept secrets on Wall Street at the Harbor Investor Conference in February 2013.
The spreadsheet below highlights changes to Pershing's US stock holdings in Q2 2013: