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Lord & Taylor is dead. J.C. Penney, which once caused Bill Ackman a great deal of pain, may not be far behind. Another activist hedge fund manager is in big trouble over Neiman Marcus’ big trouble.

And that is how you know the Ackmanaissance is both real and spectacular: Pershing Square is not only making money hand over fist. It is making money hand over fist in a sector, retail, that Ackman acknowledges is not his forte. During a pandemic that is wiping retailers out left and right. And he’s doing it with confidence.

“Although it is difficult to know how much longer the elevated demand environment will persist, we believe the pandemic has provided Lowe’s with a unique opportunity to showcase its improved merchandising, greater in-stock levels, and excellent customer service to a growing base of customers. This should drive greater customer frequency and loyalty, leading to correspondingly higher same-store-sales and profit margins over the long term,” Ackman wrote in an investor update on Friday.

According to a recent securities filing, Pershing Square last held more than 12.7 million shares of Lowe’s, a stake valued at nearly $2.1 billion based on Friday’s closing stock price. According to Friday’s investor update, Pershing Square Holdings, the publicly traded vehicle, is up 44.1 percent this year, with Lowe’s contributing 11.7 percent of those gains year-to-date through Aug. 25.

Billionaire hedge fund manager sees potential for Lowe’s stock to ‘appreciate substantially’ [Triad Business Journal]


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