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Bill Ackman’s bets on Valeant, Herbalife headed in the wrong direction

Ackman’s hedge fund may have lost over $160 million on Valeant’s stock on Thursday, and about $580 million since March 31

Bloomberg
William Ackman may not be too happy about his bets on Valeant, Herbalife since March

William Ackman’s big bullish bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., and his bearish bet on Herbalife Ltd., are going in the wrong direction.

Valeant’s stock VRX, +5.15% slumped $8.42, or 4.8%, Thursday, after the company said late Wednesday it had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutorsseeking information related to how it priced and distributed its drugs.

FactSet

Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund owned 19.47 million shares of Valeant, a position it has held as of March 31, 2015, regulatory filings show. Valeant was Pershing’s largest holding, according to FactSet. Pershing is Valeant’s third-largest shareholder, behind first-place Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. and second-place T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.

That means Pershing may have lost $164 million on its bullish Valeant bet on Thursday, and has lost $579.3 million since March 31.

Meanwhile, Ackman has publicly bashed nutritional supplement company Herbalife HLF, +0.11% for years, calling it a pyramid scheme. In an ironic twist, he had attacked regulators last year, for not doing enough to shut Herbalife down. Pershing Square still holds a large short-position--or bearish bet--in Herbalife’s stock.

Shares of Herbalife closed less than 0.1% higher on Thursday, but have soared 30% since March 31.

Basically, Ackman’s bullish and bearish views are working out, but for the wrong companies.

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