Morning Brief: Pershing Square Trims Its February Loss

Bill Ackman’s firm is not alone in posting sizable losses earlier in the month.


The partial-month performance numbers are starting to come in, and they are not pretty. Pershing Square Capital Management’s Pershing Square Holdings fund cut its loss for the month to 5.6 percent as of February 20. Last week it was off by as much as 9.4 percent, according to the hedge fund firm headed by Bill Ackman.

Pershing Square is not the only firm to suffer sizable losses amid the market’s early-month meltdown. Several China-focused funds also fell sharply. For example, for the month through February 9, George Jiang’s Golden China fund lost 9.91 percent, while the Zeal China Fund fell 7.71 percent, according to a document from investment bank HSBC that tracks hedge fund performance. During the same period, the Lansdowne Developed Markets Strategic Investment Fund lost 7.43 percent, while the Renaissance Institutional Diversified Alpha Fund (RIDA) lost 5.79 percent, according to HSBC.


Shares of Avis Budget Group jumped more than 8 percent in after-hours trading after the car rental giant moved into the black in the fourth quarter at the same time that revenues beat forecasts. Just one month ago Avis offered pessimistic guidance for 2018. Earlier this month SRS Investment Management, headed by Tiger Global Management alum Karthik Sarma, launched a proxy fight with the company. The hedge fund firm said it nominated five individuals as directors to the Avis board. SRS owns a 31 percent economic interest in Avis and has been the largest stockholder for the past seven years. It also currently has two representatives on the board. Glenview Capital Management was the third-largest shareholder at year-end.


What a day for shareholders of Pandora Media. Shares of the hedge fund favorite plunged more than 8 percent, to close near its all-time low of $4.87, as the streaming media company prepared to report quarterly results after the market closed. Investors were relieved when the company reported revenues and earnings that both beat expectations. As a result, the stock surged more than 10 percent in after-hours trading. At year-end Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital was the third-largest shareholder, while Tiger Grandcub Slate Path Capital was the sixth-largest shareholder.