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Tracking Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Portfolio - Q4 2020 Update

John Vincent profile picture
John Vincent


  • Bill Ackman’s 13F portfolio value increased from $8.82B to ~$10B this quarter.
  • Pershing Square marginally decreased most of the stakes this quarter.
  • The largest three 13F positions are Lowe's Companies, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Restaurant Brands. They together account for ~51% of the portfolio.

This article is part of a series that provides an ongoing analysis of the changes made to Pershing Square’s 13F portfolio on a quarterly basis. It is based on Ackman’s regulatory 13F Form filed on 2/16/2021. 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 for the fund’s moves during Q3 2020.

Ackman’s 13F portfolio value increased ~13% from $8.82B to ~$10B this quarter. The number of positions remained steady at 7. The portfolio remains heavily concentrated with a few huge bets. The top three positions account for ~51% of the total portfolio value: Lowe's Companies, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Restaurant Brands.

In addition to partner stakes, the fund also invests the capital from Pershing Square Holdings (OTCPK:PSHZF), a public entity that debut in Euronext Amsterdam in October 2014. This was set up primarily to increase the amount of capital invested that is permanent. Pershing Square Holdings had underperformed the S&P 500 since its EOY 2012 inception. This changed in 2019 as they had an outstanding ~58% return. That was followed with an ~85% return in 2020. Their original flagship fund’s (2004 inception) track record is excellent with annualized returns of ~16.9% compared to ~9.6% for the S&P 500 index.

Note 1: As a closed end fund, Pershing Square Holdings has always traded at a discount to NAV. The discount narrowed to 23% from 29% as of mid-February following their inclusion in the FTSE 100 index in early December. It currently trades at ~$35 per share.

Note 2: in July 2020, Pershing Square sponsored the largest SPAC IPO to date, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH). The offering had several retail-investor friendly attributes that made it stand out from the rest of the

This article was written by

John Vincent profile picture
Focused on analyzing 13F reports & building tools to help DIY investors generate absolute returns through exploiting inefficiency, volatility, and momentum.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long PSTH, PSTHWS, FNMA, FMCC, PK. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

I am long Fannie/Freddie pfds.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (20)

Is Ackman still holding after the recent court ruling?
bazooooka profile picture
Have enjoyed this one for years. Someday the NAV gap could even turn into a premium if Ackman keeps getting more right than wrong.
gdacostap profile picture
John - Please look at attached. Do you think Pershing has been adding FNMA through a foreign fund, Pershing Square Holdings Ltd.?
John Vincent profile picture
@gdacostap , looks consistent with the ~10% stake each of both FNMA & FMCC that they have held since 2013. I believe the link has the consolidated number under Owners section (PSCM) and the portion held within PSH in the Mutual Funds section.

All the best,
gdacostap profile picture
@John Vincent Thanks John.
Exile of the Mainstream profile picture
SA just reported Ackman was invested in Coupang which IPOs today. Is it not in this portfolio?
John Vincent profile picture
@Exile of the Mainstream , the 13F report only shows US-listed securities owned. We know about others only if they choose to voluntarily disclose the information.

All the best,
Sounds like more and more fund managers are not going gaga with too many positions.
Ron Murphree profile picture
What is Pershing’s cost basis in the Fannie and Freddie preferreds?
I'm long PSTH.
How much of a stake does Pershing square holdings have in psth. I didn’t see an amount listed in holdings?
John Vincent profile picture

Thank you for your question. The stake they have in PSTH is via a $1B committed forward purchase agreement and another $2B at their discretion. The latest regulatory filings shows beneficial ownership as 50% - www.sec.gov/... .

All the best,
@John Vincent thank you. great article by the way
@John Vincent I wonder if the gains of NAV they recorded at PSH this year includes gains on the PSTH?
Well done...I like his trimming of his longs and wish he steps it up.

He is short CDS again as rates are lower than they were pre-covid. Ackman says that's a hedge to offset risk of his long portfolio. If he makes 2 b on that, some clueless people will be whining that he cried on CNBC again.
cdgingrich profile picture
Thanks very much, John
Thanks, well written and informative article.
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