Zoetis Inc. (ZTS): Billionaire Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Sells Shares and Reports 5.0% Stake

A newly-amended filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, showed that billionaire Bill Ackman‘s Pershing Square has sold 16.85 million shares of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) at $46.55 per unit, and currently owns 24.97 million, or 5.0% of the company’s outstanding stock, compared to 8.4% it held in April, as reported in a previous 13D filing.

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In its third-quarter (2015) letter to investors, Bill Ackman said about Zoetis:

Management continues to demonstrate its expense discipline. Operating expenses grew 3% while operational revenue grew 9% excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Management reaffirmed its commitment to meet or exceed the previously announced $300 million expense reduction target by 2017. During the [fourth] quarter, the company announced the $765 million acquisition of PHARMAQ, the global leader in vaccines for aquaculture, or farmed fish. Aquaculture is the fastest growing segment of the global animal health industry and is the only segment in which Zoetis had limited presence. The PHARMAQ acquisition provides a market-leading portfolio of vaccines and pharmaceuticals for farmed fish as well as a late-stage development pipeline anticipated to deliver important new vaccines and next-generation parasiticides in the near term. PHARMAQ 10 is a good strategic fit with Zoetis, and provides another pillar for long-term growth. The company believes this acquisition will enjoy a long period of sustainable growth in revenue, profits, and cash flow when added into its business.”

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) is a global animal health company that develops and produces animal health vaccines and medicines, with their primary focus being companion animals and livestock. Year-to-date, Zoetis’ stock is down by 2.84%. For the first quarter of 2016, the company reported earnings per share of $0.48 and revenue of $1.2 billion, beating the estimates of $0.41 and $1.1 billion, respectively.

According to Insider Monkey’s hedge fund database, the  number of hedge funds supporting Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) decreased by six over the quarter and, at the end of December, 54 funds reported long position in the company, versus 60 funds in a previous quarter.  Pershing Square disclosed the biggest position, valued at over  $2.0 billion, followed by Paul Marshall and Ian Wace’s Marshall Wace LLP  with a $450 million stake. Other professional money managers that were bullish on this stock encompass Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management, Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, and Scott Ferguson’s Sachem Head Capital.

On the other hand, among the hedge funds that have dumped Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) are James Dinan’s York Capital Management, which sold off the largest position valued at close to $160.8 million, and Barry Rosenstein’s JANA Partners, which dropped about $160.4 million worth of shares.

You can access the original SEC filing by clicking here.