Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Actually Had A Solid First Quarter

Reuters/ Lucas JacksonHedge fund manager Bill Ackman actually had a really solid first quarter in 2012 despite the JCPenney and Herbalife bets.  

The New York Post’s Michelle Celarier reports: 

No hedgie endured the media’s harsh glare more than Ackman, whose $12.39 billion Pershing Square managed a 6 per cent gain despite losses in JCPenney and his $1 billion short on Herbalife, which ended the quarter up 14 per cent. Troubled Penney was Ackman’s worst performer, down 23 per cent.

Ackman’s gains were propelled by his less controversial holdings, including Canadian Pacific Railway, up 28 per cent, and Procter & Gamble, which gained 13.5 per cent.

Much of the focus on Ackman has been his big bets on JCPenney and Herbalife.

Pershing Square is the biggest shareholder of JCPenney with a 18.11% stake, or 39,075,771 shares, according the latest 13F filing. So far, he has taken a bath on the stock. 

As for Herbalife, Ackman has publicly declared that he’s shorting more than 20 million of the multi-level marketing company that sells nutrition products.  Ackman believes Herbalife is a “pyramid scheme” and has a price target of $0. 

Not everyone agrees with Ackman’s short thesis on Herbalife, though. Both Carl Icahn and Daniel Loeb have snapped up big long positions in the company.  

Pershing Square’s performance is still behind the S&P 500, which has gained 10 per cent this year. 

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