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Summary

  • Ackman’s US long portfolio increased marginally from $8.23B to $8.38B this quarter.
  • Pershing Square has large new positions in Platform Specialty Products & Allergan Inc.
  • Pershing Square is harvesting large gains from Beam Suntory Inc.

This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to Pershing Square's US long portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Ackman's regulatory 13F Form filed on 05/15/2014. 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 Q4 2013.

Ackman's US long portfolio increased marginally from $8.23B to $8.38B this quarter. The number of positions increased from 7 to 9: there were four new additions and a large position in General Growth Properties was eliminated this quarter. The portfolio remains heavily concentrated with a few huge bets: the top three positions account for just over 72% of the total portfolio value.

To learn more about Bill Ackman, check-out the book "Confidence Game: How Hedge Fund Manager Bill Ackman Called Wall Street's Bluff".

New stakes:

Platform Specialty Products (NYSE:PAH): On 01/23/2014, Ackman disclosed a huge new stake in Platform Specialty Products Corporation in a 13G filing. It is currently valued at around $635M and Ackman controls 30.9% of the shares outstanding. PAH had an IPO and the transaction was similar to the Burger King Worldwide IPO - Prior to the NYSE listing, Platform Specialty Products (Platform Acquisition Holdings at that time) was incorporated in the London Exchange as an investment vehicle and they acquired MacDermid (a US listed business that was taken private for ~$1.3B in an MBO transaction in 2007) in a $1.8B deal. Ackman participated in the process as a Platform Acquisition Holdings investor. The stock currently trades at $21 compared to the initial trading price of $14.90.

Allergan Inc. (NYSE:AGN): AGN is a very small 0.88% of the US long portfolio established this quarter at prices between $110 and $132. The stock currently trades at $159.

On 04/21/2014, Ackman disclosed a 9.7% ownership in the business, primarily through call options that expire in March/April 2015. He is collaborating with Valeant in its effort to buy Allergan in a hostile takeover. The stock has spiked around 30% since the announcement.

Apartment Investment & Management Co. (NYSE:AIV) & Home Properties Inc. (NYSE:HME): AIV & HME are small 1.35% & 0.34% of the US long portfolio positions respectively established this quarter. The AIV stake was acquired at prices between $25.72 and $31.09 and the stock currently trades at $30.92. The HME stake was purchased at prices between $53.62 and $61.39 and the stock currently trades at $61.84. As the position sizes are very small, they do not indicate a clear bias.

Stake Disposals:

General Growth Properties (NYSE: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 $23.34! The stake was kept steady in Q1 2013 after it was increased by around 3.5% in Q3 2012 at prices between $17.20 and $20.99. In Q2 2013, the position was reduced by 9.3% at prices between $19.32 and $23.33. It was further reduced by ~48% in Q3 2013 at prices between $18.69 and $21.64. Last quarter saw a 23% stake reduction at prices between $19.29 and $21.61. On February 11, 2014, it was announced that his remaining ~28M share position was sold back to GGP for $556M. He harvested huge gains from the position. Ackman commented that his effort (pushing the company to file bankruptcy in 2009 and guiding it back to health) turned $60M into $1.6B in less than 5 years, an annualized return of just under 100%!

Stake Increases:

None.

Stake Decreases:

Beam Inc. (NYSE:BEAM): BEAM is a spin-off from Fortune Brands and the stock is up around 50% 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. On 01/14/2014, Suntory Holdings of Japan announced the acquisition of BEAM at $83.50 cash-per-share. Soon after, Ackman disclosed that one-third of his position was sold at a price-per-share of around $83. Ackman has started to harvest huge gains from this position.

Kept Steady:

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD): In Q2 2013, a new 8.44% of the US long portfolio APD stake was purchased at prices between $92.80 and $96.59. The position was since more than doubled at prices between $91 and $107. Last quarter saw a marginal stake increase and this quarter the position was kept steady. The stock currently trades at around $117 and the stake stands at 29.19% of the US long portfolio - it is Ackman's second-largest position after Canadian Pacific Railway. At roughly $2.45B, this is the biggest activist stake ever for Pershing Square. The Q3 2013 investor letter disclosed that Ackman is having success with activism at APD - CEO John McGlade has agreed to retire by June 30, 2014 and three new members are set to join the company board, replacing three retiring directors. Pershing Square owns 9.8% of the shares outstanding in APD and they are very bullish - Ackman recently commented that APD should trade upwards of $200 within the next three years.

Burger King Worldwide (NYSE:BKW): BKW is a 12.16% 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 in Q1 2013 at prices between $16.31 and $19.95. Last quarter saw a marginal stake increase and was kept steady this quarter. The stock currently trades at $25. 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 Canadian Pacific Railway and Air Products & Chemicals, his largest positions.

Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE:CP): CP is Pershing Square's largest 13F position at 30.81 % 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 $159. Ackman reigned in management and board changes at the company by winning a proxy battle in May 2012. The position was marginally reduced in Q3 2013 at prices between $117 and $130 and by ~26% last quarter at prices between $123 and $157.

Howard Hughes Corp (NYSE:HHC): HHC is a small 6.08% of the US long portfolio position that was established in 2010 as a result of its spin-off from GGP. The stake has remained untouched during the whole period. The stock returned ~63% in 2013. Ackman called HHC one of the best kept secrets on Wall Street at the Harbor Investor Conference in February 2013.

Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) are other large long positions in the partnership - the holdings were disclosed in 13D filings on November 15, 2013 - as they are not 13F securities, they are not listed in the 13F report. Ackman holds just under 10% of the outstanding shares of both these businesses - 115.57M shares of FNMA at an average cost-basis of ~$2.30 and 63.5M shares of FMCC at an average cost-basis of $2.14. The combined investment outlay was ~$400M and it is currently valued at around $760M. In the Ira Sohn conference earlier this month, Ackman said his conservative case values FNMA & FMCC at ~$23 per share each. The stocks currently trade in the $4 area. Ackman also is known to have large short positions, although Herbalife is the only one publicly known - there is no regulatory requirement to disclose short positions and so only the ones that Ackman voluntarily discloses are known.

The spreadsheet below highlights changes to Pershing Square's US stock holdings in Q1 2014:

(click to enlarge)

Source: Tracking Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Portfolio - Q1 2014 Update