Bill Ackman Portfolio – Pershing Square Capital Latest Holdings

Image of the investor Bill Ackman

Summary

  • Bill Ackman is the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management.
  • His early bets on credit hedges and treasury bonds, timed before and after the pandemic's peak, generated returns of $2.6 billion and $1.25 billion respectively.
  • Ackman's investing strategy combines value investing, activist investing, and maintaining a long-term focus with a concentrated portfolio. 

Bill Ackman – Pershing Square Capital Management Top 10 Current Holdings

TickerCompany NameIndustryPercentage of portfolio
CMGChipotle Mexican GrillConsumer Discretionary21.4%
HLTHilton Worldwide Holdings IncHotels17.7%
QSRRestaurant Brands International Consumer Discretionary16.4%
LOWLowes’s Company IncConsumer Discretionary14.2%
GOOGAlphabet Inc – Class CTechnology13.1%
CPCanadian Pacific Kansas City LimitedRailroads11.0%
GOOGAlphabet Inc – Class ATechnology6.0%
Sources: WhaleWisdom, Stockcircle

Related: Alphabet (Google) Earnings Call

Based on filings from Q3 2023, when looking at Pershing Square’s portfolio the firm's holdings appear to be concentrated in four industries:

  1. Consumer discretionary
  2. Hotels
  3. Technology
  4. Railroads


Pershing Square’s investment in railroad company Canadian Pacific Kansas City Limited ($CP) is fascinating.

The firm first invested in the railroad company back in 2011. But was forced to sell its position in 2016 to pay back investors who were withdrawing cash from the fund as it was running into losses (similar to Michael Burry in the movie The Big Short). 

Ackman has gone on to say that selling this position is one of his “greatest investment regrets”.  

Despite having to sell earlier than he would have liked, Ackman’s firm profited $2.6 billion from its investment in $CP.

It’s clear that Ackman still believes in the company as he re-entered a position in the stock in Q4 2021. As of Q3 2023, the stock makes up 11% of his portfolio.  

Bill Ackman – Pershing Square Capital Management Top Buys and Sells in Q3 2023

In Q3 2023, Pershing Square Capital Management completely sold its holdings in Howard Hughes Corporation and reduced its holdings in Lowe’s Company Inc. 

Meanwhile, it increased its positions in Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc and Hilton Worlwide Holding Inc.

Ackman decided to invest in Alphabet Inc after the market showed doubts in its AI capabilities. Ackman went on to say he plans to hold the stock for the long term.

In regards to Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Ackman has been a shareholder in the company since 2018. He believes, “Hilton is a high-quality, asset-light, high-margin business with significant long-term growth potential, led by a superb management team.”

TickerCompany NameIndustryBought/SoldAmount Bought/Sold
HHHHoward Hughes CorporationReal EstateSold shares (-100%)16,600,000 shares
GOOGAlphabet Inc – Class ATechnologyBought shares (+99.3%)2,169,824 shares
HLTHilton Worldwide Holdings IncHotelsBought shares (+10.4%)972,647 shares
LOWLowe’s Company IncConsumer DiscretionarySold shares (-5.4%)402,227 shares
Sources: WhaleWisdom, Stockcircle

Bill Ackman – Pershing Square Capital Management Performance Overview

Line graph that plots the performance of the S&P 500 against Pershing Square Capital Management between Q3 2020 and Q3 2023.
Source: HedgeFollow

Pershing Square Capital Management’s top 50 weighted holdings have a 3-year annualized return of approximately 10.30% with a 3-year cumulative return of approximately 34.19%. The top 20 weighted holdings have identical returns. In comparison to other hedge funds and the S&P 500, this is a solid performance.

Bill Ackman – Pershing Square Capital Management Sector Allocation

Who is Bill Ackman?

Image of hedge fund manager Bill Ackman
Source: Getty Images

Bill Ackman is the founder and CEO of the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management.

There aren’t many investors who handled COVID-19 better than Ackman.

By the time the pandemic was over, his firm had turned $204 million into $3.85 billion.

His first bet was right before COVID-19 turned the world upside down.

Looking back it seems obvious. But Ackman was one of the few investors who understood how serious the situation was.

Back in March 2020, his firm bought $27 million in credit hedges.

These securities would go up in value if the value of corporate bonds fell.

In other words, the harder the market crashed the more his investment would be worth.

Within a few weeks of buying these credit hedges, Ackman exited his position walking away with $2.6 billion in profit (nearly a 100x return). 

Ackman also saw the market recovering before everyone else.

In late 2020, his firm invested $177 million into treasury bonds.

These bonds would go up in value if interest rates rose.

At the time, interest rates were almost at zero.

Ackman made this bet based on the following signals:

  1. Jobs were coming back
  2. Businesses were reopening
  3. Consumers were spending again

All of this meant record-low interest rates no longer made sense.

Within a few months of making this bet, Ackman’s firm sold its position and netted $1.25 billion.

What is Pershing Square Capital Management?

Pershing Square Capital Management is a private hedge fund founded by Bill Ackman.

Ackman currently serves as the CEO.

The firm began in 2004, with an initial investment of $54 million which was funded by Ackman and Leucadia National Corporation. 

As of November 2023, the firm manages around $16 billion in assets. 

Pershing Square Capital Management has a publicly traded investment trust (Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd.) trading under $PSTH on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Bill Ackman – Pershing Square Capital Management Investment Strategy & Quotes

Bill Ackman’s investment strategies:

  • “Aggressive” Value Investing: Ackman is a big believer of value investing, a strategy developed by Benjamin Graham and further popularized by Warren Buffett. The strategy involves buying securities that appear underpriced based on fundamental analysis. Ackman's approach is unique in that he often takes large positions in a few companies, rather than diversifying across many.
  • Activist Investing: Ackman is well known for his activist approach. As an activist investor, he often buys significant stakes in companies he believes are undervalued or poorly managed. He then pushes for changes in the company's strategy, management, or board to increase shareholder value. Ackman has made some spectacular wins with this strategy (Wendy’s and Starbucks) as well as significant losses (Herbalife and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International).
  • Long-Term Focus: Despite some high-profile short bets (like his bet against Herbalife), Ackman typically focuses on long-term investments. He often holds onto his investments for several years, believing that it takes time for value to be realized.
  • Concentrated Portfolio: Ackman's portfolio rarely holds more than ten stocks at a time. His strategy relies on investing a large amount of capital in a handful of companies that he has researched and has strong convictions for. This goes against the conventional wisdom of diversifying across a large number of stocks.
  • Use of Leverage: Ackman has been known to use leverage (borrowed money) to increase the potential return on investments. This can amplify gains but also increase the risk of significant losses.
  • Event-Driven Investments: He often looks for event-based opportunities, such as mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, or global events (e.g. COVID-19 pandemic).

Bill Ackman’s Famous Quotes:

  • “You learn more from your mistakes than you learn from your successes.”
  • “Markets are very efficient in the short term in adjusting to new information, but they are very inefficient in the long term in reflecting the fundamentals of business.”
  • “The longer the holding period, the less risk you are taking.”
  • “We look for simple, predictable, free-cash-flow-generative businesses, and we look to buy them at a time when they're out of favor.”

Bill Ackman – Pershing Square Capital Management News & Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Who runs Pershing Square Asset Management?

Pershing Square Asset Management is run by Bill Ackman. 

Bill Ackman is best known for turning a $27 million trade into $2.6 billion from predicting the COVID-19 market crash. 

Does Bill Ackman own Pershing Square Asset Management?

Michael Burry is the founder and CEO of Scion Asset Management, a hedge fund that he started in 2000.

What is Bill Ackman’s net worth?

According to Forbes, Bill Ackman’s personal net worth currently sits at $3.8 billion.

Where is this data sourced from?

Data was collected from (but not limited to) the sources below:

  • Stockcircle
  • HedgeFollow
  • WhaleWisdom
  • EDGAR filings from the SEC
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