Ackman’s Pershing Square trimmed ADP stake in second-quarter: filing

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BOSTON (Reuters) – William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management trimmed its stake in Automatic Data Processing by selling 3.7 million common shares in the second quarter, a regulatory filing on Tuesday showed.

William ‘Bill’ Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Ackman said in earlier filings and statements that he sold some ADP stock to manage the size of the position, adding that he planned to “continue to be a large, long-term and engaged shareholder” in the company.

At the end of June, Pershing Square owned 24 million shares, including common stock and derivatives, or 5.6 percent of the human resources software company.

An earlier filing showed that Pershing Square previously owned 31.8 million shares, including common stock and derivatives, or 7.2 percent of the company.

Less than a year after Ackman lost a bitter proxy contest at ADP, the company is performing better and boasts a rising stock price that has helped Ackman’s $8 billion portfolio swing to gains in 2018. Since Ackman made his investments in 2017, ADP’s shares have climbed 35 percent.

Tuesday’s so-called 13-F filing showed that Ackman still owns 4.2 million common shares. Such filings are backward looking but widely followed for insight into what fund managers are buying and selling.

Scott Ferguson, a former Pershing Square partner who now runs hedge fund Sachem Head Capital Management, said in a filing that his firm sold 74 percent of its ADP common stock to own 500,000 shares on June 30.

Ferguson and Ackman had differing ideas on home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc, however. Ackman bought 7.7 million common shares, making it the only new investment listed for the second quarter. Including derivatives, Ackman has taken a roughly $1 billion stake in Lowe’s, other filings showed.

Ferguson, who has owned Lowe’s since late 2017, sold out of his entire position of common stock, getting rid of 2.5 million shares.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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