Ackman Boosts J.C. Penney Stake, Trims Family Dollar

Pershing Square Capital Management LP, the hedge fund run by William Ackman, boosted its stake in J.C. Penney Co. to 18 percent of the company’s stock and cut holdings in Family Dollar Stores Inc. and Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc.

The fund reported holding about 39.1 million J.C. Penney shares valued at $1.38 billion as of March 31, up from about 38.7 million shares as of Dec. 31, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pershing Square, whose founder is known for investing in companies to press for changes, decreased its stake in Fortune Brands to about 13.3 million shares valued at $294 million from about 20.8 million shares in December. The fund also cut its Kraft Foods Inc. holding to about 15.5 million shares valued at $589.4 million.

J.C. Penney, based in Plano, Texas, fell 13 percent to $29 at 5:55 p.m. in New York after reporting a first-quarter loss and saying it will discontinue its quarterly dividend after sales fell more than anticipated.

Pershing Square, based in New York, also reduced its Family Dollar Stores Inc. position to 2.6 million shares valued at $165.5 million from 8.4 million shares.

Pershing Square’s biggest position by market value on March 31 was 24.2 million shares of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. valued at $1.83 billion.

Money managers who oversee $100 million of equities or more must file, within 45 days of the end of each quarter, a Form 13F with the SEC that lists their U.S. exchange-traded stocks, options and convertible bonds. The filings don’t show non-U.S. securities or how much cash the firms hold.

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