Imagine if Bill Ackman had gone long Herbalife and short
Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Investors would be hailing him king of
the hedgies, or close to it. Oh well. In any case, Pershing
Square Holdings, his publicly traded fund, has moved back into
the black as of the end of Tuesday and is up 3 percent for the
year after posting a 5.7 percent gain for the month through
It helps that last month he finally threw in the towel on
his huge losing position in
Valeant, whose stock has continued to tumble since then. On
the other hand, Herbalife, the multi-level marketer of
nutrition and health-related products that Ackman insists is a
Ponzi scheme, is quietly up more than 25 percent for the
year-to-date, closing Wednesday at $63.10.
Rather, health-conscious Ackman benefitted from by far his
largest long position, Restaurant Brands International, owner
and franchiser of Tim Hortons and Burger King restaurants,
which rose nearly 5 percent for the April period, and his
number two position, Chipotle Mexican Grill, whose stock was up
nearly 6 percent for the month through April 25.
Pershing Square Capital Management was the second largest
shareholder at year-end.
Meanwhile, shares of Chipotle jumped another 2.4 percent on
Wednesday, to close at $482.99. Several investment banks raised
their price targets on the stock after the restaurant chain
reported quarterly earnings that blew by consensus forecasts.
Barclays, for example, raised its price target from $395 to
$415 but maintained its equal weight rating. It points out that
optimistic investors had already lifted the shares by 19
percent since March 20 alone, compared with a 1 percent decline
in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index
during that period. "Ultimately, results exceeded formal
sell-side expectations, while relatively in-line with our
view," the bank tells clients in a note.
Credit Suisse said it hiked its price target from $375 to
$425 and raised its earnings estimates, "to reflect
better-than-expected profit recovery" in the first quarter.
However, it maintained its neutral rating on the stock, which
trades above the target. "The pace of recovery should moderate
from here," it adds, as sales and other comparisons return to
At year-end, the stock was also the second-largest U.S. long
Tybourne Capital Management, the seventh-largest holder of
the common shares.
Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings fell more than 3 percent in
after-hours trading on Wednesday after the casual dining chain
reported quarterly earnings that came in well below analyst
expectations. This miss plays right into the hands of activist
Marcato Capital Management, which has launched a
contentious proxy fight with the company.
Credit Suisse raised its price target on Caterpillar from
$111 to $123 and lifted its estimates after the heavy equipment
maker posted very strong earnings on Tuesday. "CAT is off to a
great start and set up well for 2017," the bank tells clients.
As we reported,
Greenlight Capital has a losing short position in the
stock. Interestingly, one is hard-pressed to find a hedge fund
with a meaningful long position in the stock.
Elliott Management Corp.’s Menlo Park
affiliate Evergreen Coast Capital led an investment in ASG
Technologies, an enterprise IT software company, according to a
press release. Elliott also said it plans to make additional
investments in the company, which specializes in products in
content management, systems management, workspaces and
enterprise data intelligence.
"ASG’s leadership has transformed the business
into a leading global software provider with exciting growth
investments in its product lines," said Jesse Cohn, senior
portfolio manager of Elliott, in the press release. Evergreen
focuses on technology investing.