Hedge Funds: A Reminder, Bill Ackman is Doing Fine

June 9, 2020 | Hedge Funds, News

Bill Ackman is doing well in 2020.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pershing Square Capital Management has returned 22% to 27% this year. That easily tops the S&P 500. It has been quite a run for Ackman, whose fund made more than $2 billion while hedging on a downturn at the start of the outbreak. Ackman famously warned that “hell is coming” when urging  President Donald Trump to shut down the U.S. economy for 30 days.

Bill Ackman and Hedge Fund Performance

The hedged bet of $27 million turned into a $2.7 billion gain, which was then reinvested at the bottom of the market in March. Ackman purchased a number of companies that were already in his portfolio.

These positions included Lowe’s Companies (NYSE: LOW), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), Hilton Worldwide Holdings (NYSE: HLT), and Restaurant Brands International (NYSE: QSR). Ackman said recently that his ability to purchase Lowe’s at $84 per share was a “bargain of a lifetime.”

The stock traded at $130 on Tuesday afternoon. That represents a gain of 54%.

Meanwhile, Ackman liquidated stakes in Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B), Park Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: PK), and Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX).

Ackman’s first-half performance is trailing an even stronger performance in 2019. Pershing Square generated a 58.1% return in 2019, its best on record.

Related: Hedge Funds: Ricky Sandler is Buying Stocks Despite Coronavirus

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