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This Hedge Fund Thinks Popeyes Is a Better Bet Than Berkshire Hathaway

By Rich Duprey - Updated Aug 17, 2020 at 10:43AM

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SEC filings reveal the private equity firm sold all its shares of Berkshire Hathaway.

Maybe hedge fund operator Bill Ackman didn't like the fact that Warren Buffett sat on the sidelines after the markets tanked in March, missing out on one of the most remarkable recoveries in history.

Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management sold all of its shares in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 1.66%) (BRK.B 1.71%) in the second quarter and lined up with everyone else who wants a Popeyes chicken sandwich by adding to his stake in Restaurant Brands International (QSR 0.28%), the parent of Popeyes, Burger King, and Tim Hortons.

Popeyes chicken sandwich

Image source: Restaurant Brands International.

Shifting priorities

Ackman revealed in SEC filings on Friday that his hedge fund sold all 5.45 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway's class B shares it owned, which was worth almost $1 million back in May, and added about 10 million shares of Restaurant Brands International to its existing position, bringing the value of its holdings in the restaurant operator up to $1.3 million.

The Pershing Square fund also exited its position in Blackstone Group and Park Hotels & Resorts and reduced its holdings in Howard Hughes. It added more to its stake in DIY center Lowe's, which retains its position as the hedge fund's biggest holding at $1.7 million, followed by Restaurant Brands International, Chipotle Mexican Grill at $1.2 million, Agilent Technologies at $1.1 million, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings at $1 million.

Berkshire Hathaway did eventually get into the game, notably buying gold miner Barrick Gold, a seemingly contradictory move considering how he has criticized investing in gold in the past. But gold in the ground isn't the same as gold sitting under guard at Fort Knox, because a gold miner -- and Barrick Gold in particular -- can be a profitable source of productive assets.

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Chipotle Mexican Grill, and The Howard Hughes. The Motley Fool recommends Lowe's and recommends the following options: short September 2020 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long January 2021 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2021 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.B
$301.55 (1.71%) $5.08
Restaurant Brands International Inc. Stock Quote
Restaurant Brands International Inc.
QSR
$60.48 (0.28%) $0.17
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
BRK.A
$452,697.25 (1.66%) $7,395.26
Barrick Gold Corporation Stock Quote
Barrick Gold Corporation
GOLD
$16.74 (2.07%) $0.34
The Howard Hughes Corporation Stock Quote
The Howard Hughes Corporation
HHC
$73.39 (1.61%) $1.16
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Stock Quote
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
CMG
$1,663.70 (2.00%) $32.61
The Blackstone Group L.P. Stock Quote
The Blackstone Group L.P.
BX
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Stock Quote
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
LOW
$206.47 (2.12%) $4.29
Agilent Technologies, Inc. Stock Quote
Agilent Technologies, Inc.
A
$133.55 (1.21%) $1.60
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Stock Quote
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
HLT
$137.44 (2.04%) $2.75
Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. Stock Quote
Park Hotels & Resorts Inc.
PK
$16.05 (0.56%) $0.09

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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