Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Files 13G on Barnes & Noble (BKS) ~ market folly

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Files 13G on Barnes & Noble (BKS)

Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund ran by Bill Ackman, has filed an amended 13G with the SEC and has disclosed a 0% ownership stake in Barnes & Noble (BKS). The 13G was filed due to their activity on December 22nd, 2008 and they completely sold out of their position in BKS. This is a pretty substantial change to their portfolio, considering that as of last 13F filing (which shows positions as of September 30th, 2008), 4.4% of their portfolio was allocated to BKS. Now, they hold 0 shares. You can also view the rest of Pershing Square's holdings here.

Pershing Square Capital Management is a well known value/activist based hedge fund. The fund started in 2003 after Gotham Partners broke up. The past few years, they have had notable short positions in the bond insurers such as MBIA (MBI) and Ambac (ABK). Some of his activist positions include Target (TGT) and Borders (BGP). Simply put, Ackman is a smart man. We wrote about Mr. Ackman's recent speech at the Value Investing Congress as well as Ackman's lengthy interview with Charlie Rose. Furthermore, you can view one of Pershing Square's investor letters here.

Taken from Google Finance, Barnes & Noble is "primarily engaged in the sale of books. The Company's principal business is the sale of trade books (generally hardcover and paperback consumer titles, excluding educational textbooks and specialized religious titles), mass-market paperbacks (such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other fiction), children's books, bargain books, magazines, gift, music and movies direct to customers."

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