In the most recent annual report for his firm, Pershing Square founder and CEO Bill Ackman writes that he is stepping back from high-profile short campaigns that have overshadowed “his record as a ‘constructive, long-term owner,’” reports an article in CityWireUSA. In the letter, he called this new phase “Pershing Square 3.0” and promised to foster the relationships that have been “cordial, constructive and productive” for his portfolio companies.
Ackman noted that the two activist short-selling engagements his firm has participated in generated a lot of publicity for Pershing and expressed relief that the firm is out of the high-profile, short-selling business, the article reports.
This shift to long-term conviction has happened alongside a period of major outperformance for Pershing. Its 3-year annualized return clocked in at 50.1% at the end of 2021, compared to the S&P 500’s 26% return. And so far this year Pershing has netted $1.25 billion in gains on an interest rate hedge that began the year at $157 million. The firm then took those gains to Netflix, whose operating profit margins have risen from 4% in 2016 to 21% in 2021. And though Netflix has seen a 47% increase in revenue, its share price is down 45% from a recent high and still below pre-pandemic levels, providing ample opportunity for Pershing to establish a new position there.