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Could Ackman’s Pershing Square’s Flying Start in 2019 Continue?

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May. 23 2019, Published 11:18 a.m. ET

Pershing Square’s flying start to the year

Contrary to 2018, 2019 is turning out to be a very good year for Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Holdings. Compared to its loss of 0.7% in 2018, it’s gained 38.4% as of May 14. The fund has significantly outperformed the broader US markets.

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Fund outperforming the markets

In the same period, the S&P 500 Index (SPY), the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DIA), and the NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ) saw returns of 13.4%, 9.7%, and 17.0%, respectively. The fund’s remarkable performance came after a series of disappointing years, with losses of 20.5%, 13.5%, 4%, and 0.7%, respectively, in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Contributors to the fund’s performance

In its first-quarter letter to shareholders, the fund highlighted the contributors and detractors to its performance during the first quarter and YTD (year-to-date) until May 14.

A large contribution to Pershing Square’s outperformance YTD has come from Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG). The stock has gained a whopping 63% as of May 14 and has contributed 9.8% to the fund’s 38.4% gain. Restaurant Brands International (QSR), Hilton Worldwide (HLT), and Automatic Data Processing (ADP) follow with contributions of 5.3%, 4.5%, and 4.0%, respectively.

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