Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pershing Square down 11 percent this month

The recent market sell off has hurt a lot of investors. Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., the publicly traded security of Bill Ackman’s activist hedge fund, lost 11.4 percent this year through Jan. 12, according to its website.

The performance carried Ackman’s losing streak into the new year amid market weakness. The vehicle, which makes wagers on and against stocks, fell 20.5 percent in 2015 on the back of a decline in shares of drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

All eight of the firm’s publicly disclosed long holdings at the end of the third quarter have fallen in January, led by a 38 percent drop in Platform Specialty Products Corp. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bill Ackman trims Valeant stake for tax reasons

Valeant Pharmaceuticals' staunchest defender trimmed his firm's stake in the drug company to 8.5%, citing tax reasons. In a regulatory filing, billionaire Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management said it sold some 5 million Valeant shares "to generate a tax loss" for investors.

Selling shares and locking in a loss would allow investors to offset trading profits elsewhere in their portfolios and lower their 2015 taxes.

The hedge fund now owns 8.5% of Valeant's outstanding shares, down from close to 10% before the cutback.

Valeant's woes have weighed on Ackman's returns. His publicly traded entity, Pershing Square Holdings, was down 19.7% as of December 29th.

By contrast, Ackman boasted returns of 41% in 2014.

Valeant's shares have plunged a whopping 29.6% over the last 12 months amid a series of setbacks that have raised complicated questions about its business model, leading to scrutiny by lawmakers.
Bill Ackman has vigorously defended his multibillion-dollar investment in the Canadian pharmaceuticals company, which has faced a series of questions about its drug pricing, business practices, and accounting and disclosures. Valeant has defended its accounting, saying it has found no evidence of illegality. 

Rather than invest in drug research, Valeant simply buys up other drug makers. The drug maker has also been known to dramatically raise the prices of the drugs it acquires.