The Morning Brief: Pershing Square Catches a Break

Finally a glimmer of hope for William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management. The New York activist firm reported that it is already up 6.9 percent for the month through April 12. As a result, the firm’s main hedge fund has made a decent dent in its loss for the year and is now down 20.5 percent. Of course, this is still a huge hole to dig out of. Still, Pershing Square is benefitting this month from a nice little bounce in the shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, which were up 21.6 percent during the month’s reporting period. The stock added another 3.5 percent on Wednesday. Of Ackman’s other holdings, animal healthcare company Zoetis is up 6 percent this month, while Monzelez International is up a little less than 6 percent. However, as Ackman would be the first to tell investors, this is just a two-week slice of time. The fund has a long way to go to get back to its high water mark, given that Pershing Square lost 20.5 percent last year as well.


Jeffrey Smith’s Starboard Value slightly raised its stake in Depomed to 9.9 percent. Otherwise, the New York activist firm did not make any new demands or pronouncements in an updated regulatory filing. Even so, shares of the pharmaceutical company that specializes in neurology-related products jumped more than 4 percent on the news.


Shares of Och-Ziff Capital Management rebounded by more than 9 percent, to close at $3.61, one day after reports that the New York firm is in discussions over settlement talks with the government stemming from criminal and civil bribery charges.