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Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Is Betting Big On This Big-Name Stock

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Is Betting Big On This Big-Name Stock

The activist investor whose firm has returned nearly 50% so far in 2019 just bought $685 million worth of this stock.

Hedge funds delivered their 13F filings today, disclosing their investments in the second quarter. 

And one filing revealed a new stake in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B).

Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square bought 3.51 million Class B shares in Berkshire as of June 30, worth about $685 million as of Wednesday’s close, according to the firm’s filing. This is the first new position in Ackman’s fund since it bought Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) in 2018.

The activist investor’s position in Berkshire isn’t expected to be an active one, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ackman’s fund is on track for a record year, with the net asset value of his publicly traded vehicle—Pershing Square Holdings (OTC: PSHZF)—has risen 48.9% through August 13. 

So far this year, the fund has far outperformed the broader market with the S&P 500 up just 13% in the same timeframe.

Pershing Square has crushed the market thanks in part to a handful of stocks, including Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), Howard Hughes Corp (NYSE: HHC), and Starbucks, which are up 84.48%, 31.44%, and 47.39%, respectively, so far this year.

Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares have fallen -4% year-to-date, and Buffett hasn’t been finding much value in stocks recently which has led to a record cash pile of $122 billion. Berkshire sold $1 billion more in stocks than it bought last quarter, marking its biggest net selling in nearly two years.

Buffett’s Berkshire spent last quarter cutting its bet on Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), trimming its position by 5%. The company also boosted its stake in Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) by 11%, though the $1 billion holding is far outweighed by Berkshire’s roughly $49 billion bet on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). 

The Oracle of Omaha hasn’t made a major acquisition in several years, though there has been constant speculation about what type of business he might buy next. Buffett also pulled back on repurchases of Berkshire’s stock in the second quarter, according to its filing.

Ackman said earlier this month that he had sold his stake in both United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) and Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ: ADP), and has built a new position in an undisclosed company. 

While he opposed United Technologies’ takeover of Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), Ackman chose to exit his position rather than fight the acquisition. With ADP, Ackman sold after a 50% return as the easy work to improve the payroll company’s operations had been completed. 

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