Hedge Fund News: Bill Ackman, Herbalife Ltd. (HLF), Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (APD)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)

Bill Ackman PERSHING SQUAREAckman Says Pershing Square Takes 9.8% Stake in Air Products (Bloomberg)
Billionaire William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP has amassed a 9.8 percent stake in Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), the activist investor said, signaling he plans to push for change at the company. Ackman disclosed his hedge fund’s investment in Allentown, Pennsylvania-based Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) in a CNBC interview today. He confirmed details of the holding via e-mail. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD), an industrial-gas producer with a market capitalization as of yesterday of $22.1 billion, is the previously unidentified target described by Ackman in a July 8 letter to clients, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Bill Ackman’s Herbalife Nightmare Gets 100 Percent Worse (Forbes)
Seven months ago, billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman stood on a New York City stage at an unorthodox event that he had organized and declared that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s stock was going to collapse because the controversial nutritional supplements seller was a pyramid scheme. But Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s stock has not collapsed. Instead it rocketed upwards from the $24 level to which it sank in the days following Ackman’s presentation to the $60 mark in 2013. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s stock soared by another 5% in early morning trading on Tuesday to $63.58 after the company reported that its net income grew by more than 8% from the previous year to $143.2 million in the second quarter on revenues of $1.22 billion, up 18%. Shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) -0.88%are now up by nearly 100% in 2013.

Sony is a “red-headed stepchild” – Loeb (IVCPost)
Famous hedge fund player Dan Loeb expressed his irritation with giant technology and entertainment company Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) today. The investor has been vocal in his suggestion for creating a spin-off of Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s entertainment division. …Loeb went on to call Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) a “red-headed stepchild.” The sharp-mouthed investor criticized Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s management, particularly its entertainment arm, saying the sector deals with a “famously bloated corporate structure, generous perk packages, high salaries for underperforming senior executives, and marketing budgets that do not seem to be in line with any sense of return on capital invested.”

Recent SEC ‘Bad Actor’ Provisions For Hedge Funds, Private Equity Funds, Could Unearth Unethical Backgrounds Of Executives: Securities Lawyers (IBTimes)
Recent regulations unearthing the legal backgrounds of those who sell private securities could lead to nervousness and layoffs among hedge fund and private equity executives, according to securities lawyers. The major 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms required the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt so-called “bad actor” provisions, which bar those convicted of financial crimes from selling private securities. The commission adopted these rules earlier in July.

Ex-analyst charged in insider-trading crackdown (BostonGlobe)
Continuing a relentless campaign against insider trading, federal authorities on Tuesday announced criminal charges against a former stock research analyst in a case connected to last week’s indictment of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors. Sandeep Aggarwal, a former technology analyst at Collins Stewart, a research firm that has since become part of Cannacord Genuity, was charged with leaking secret information about a venture between Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) to at least two hedge funds, including SAC. FBI agents arrested Aggarwal on Monday in San Jose, Calif.

CF Industries’ stock gets pop from hedge fund (ChicagoBusiness)
Shares of CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) spiked nearly 12 percent yesterday after Third Point LLC, the hedge fund run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, said it held an unspecified stake in the Illinois company, the Wall Street Journal reports. CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF), which makes and sells nitrogen and phosphate-based plant fertilizers, should “significantly increase its dividend,” Third Point said in a letter to investors, according to the Journal. The hedge fund noted CF’s “access to inexpensive natural gas, a key raw material in the production of fertilizer,” which “provides it with a low cost advantage over global rivals.”

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