Pershing Square Builds Automatic Data Processing Stake ~ market folly

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pershing Square Builds Automatic Data Processing Stake

Recently, Bloomberg reported that Bill Ackman's activist firm Pershing Square Capital Management had built a stake in Automatic Data Processing (ADP).  Then today, Ackman told CNBC that he's "still buying the stock as of this morning" and that he is "not seeking control of the company."

Per Ackman's recent interview, he feels the company can expand profit margins by more than 50%.  Pershing now reportedly owns 8% of the company mainly via derivatives.

Apparently, Ackman was seeking to push back the board nomination window.  ADP responded: "The Board has unanimously determined that it is not in the best interests of ADP or its other shareholders to accede to Pershing Square's last-minute request for an extension."

ADP also appeared to take a dig at Pershing in its statement as well: "Since Carlos Rodriguez became CEO nearly six years ago, ADP's total shareholder return of 202% is well in excess of the S&P 500 TSR of 128% - and is many multiples of Pershing's TSR of 29%."

For more on this fund, we've also highlighted other recent portfolio activity from Pershing Square here.

Per Google Finance, Automatic Data Processing is "a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions to employers, offering solutions to businesses of various sizes. The Company also provides business process outsourcing solutions. Its segments include Employer Services and Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Services. The Employer Services segment offers a range of human resources (HR) business process outsourcing and technology-enabled HCM solutions. These offerings include payroll services, benefits administration, talent management, HR management, time and attendance management, insurance services, retirement services, and tax and compliance services. ADP TotalSource, ADP's PEO business, offers small and mid-sized businesses a HR outsourcing solution through a co-employment model. As a PEO, ADP TotalSource provides HR management services while the client continues to direct the day-to-day job-related duties of the employees."

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