Bill Ackman’s 3 largest stock positions

Bill Ackman Hedge Fund Stocks

Today we’re analyzing the 3 largest current stock positions of the legendary investor Bill Ackman. First, a bit of background about the hedge fund titan: 

Born in New York in 1966, Ackman studied at Harvard, and after graduating in 1992, founded the investment firm Gotham Partners with former classmate David Berkowitz. Then in 2003, with $54 million in seed money from three investors, he founded his own hedge fund, Pershing Square. From 2006 to 2016, Ackmann returned 146% for his investors, 51% more than the S&P 500 index.

It’s never a good idea to blindly follow the portfolio of a single investor – but a look at Bill Ackman’s top positions can yield useful ideas.

Ackman is a classic activist investor who tries to force managerial changes in companies through his equity holdings that will increase share prices. In doing so, the hedge fund manager runs a decidedly concentrated portfolio. Today, Ackman has $10.7 billion invested in just 7 different positions. These are currently his 3 largest equity positions, which together account for 50% of assets:

Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW)

Ackman’s largest investment currently is Lowe’s Companies. His position has a value of just over $2 billion and accounts for about 18.4% of his total portfolio. This means the manager holds 1.43% of all outstanding Lowe’s shares. After a stretch of good performance (+20% in the first half of the year), Ackman recently reduced the position by 15%.

Lowe’s Companies is one of the largest home improvement chains in the US. The company operates over 1,800 home improvement stores in numerous states, as well as Canada and Mexico. The company focuses primarily on homeowners with do-it-yourself projects, skilled workers and contractors. 

The average Lowe’s DIY store is around 11,000 m² in size and usually has a garden center attached. The range of goods offered consists of more than 40,000 products, but hundreds of thousands of products can be requested via the online ordering system.

In the most recent quarter, the group made a profit of $3.01 billion on sales of $27.57 billion.                   

Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A)

With his second largest position, Agilent Technologies, Bill Ackman is betting on a major manufacturer of measurement equipment. Currently, Ackman holds $1.72 billion in the stock, representing 16.15% of his total assets under management, or 3.85% of all outstanding shares. 

Agilent Technologies is a global leader in manufacturing equipment for the fields of life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemistry. Agilent serves laboratories and diagnostics facilities with a comprehensive range of technologies. 

These include automation, bioreagents, FISH probes, gas and liquid chromatography, immunohistochemistry, informatics, mass spectrometry, microarrays, spectroscopy, targeted enrichment and vacuum technologies.

Second-quarter sales climbed 25.7% to $1.58 billion. Agilent finished the quarter with a profit of $264 million on the books.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG)

Ackman’s third largest position is Chipotle Mexican Grill. He has invested $1.68 billion in the group, representing 15.7% of his total portfolio.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a quick-service restaurant chain that sells Mexican food such as burritos and tacos. The company was founded in 1993 by Steve Ells with a first store in Denver. Over the past few years, thousands of additional stores have opened throughout the United States. 

As of Dec. 31, 2020, the company owned and operated 2,724 Chipotle restaurants in the United States, 40 international restaurants and 4 non-Chipotle restaurants. Second-quarter revenues increased slightly from $1.36 billion to $1.89 billion year over year. On the bottom line, the group posted a profit of $188 million.

Dr. Gregor Bauer
Dr. Gregor Bauer
Dr. Gregor Bauer credits his trading success to combining fundamental aspects of a trade with expert technical analysis. A Certified Financial Technician from the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA), he’s rated as one of Germany’s top 300 economic experts.
Dr. Gregor Bauer
Dr. Gregor Bauer
Dr. Gregor Bauer credits his trading success to combining fundamental aspects of a trade with expert technical analysis. A Certified Financial Technician from the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA), he’s rated as one of Germany’s top 300 economic experts.

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