William Ackman's Pershing Square fund ended February virtually flat even after a tumultuous end to the month when two high-profile bets moved quickly in the wrong direction for his $12 billion portfolio.
The New York-based fund manager told investors late on Monday that the fund was off 0.1 percent last month, leaving it up 3.6 percent for the year, according to two people familiar with the numbers.
As fund managers are slowly releasing their February performance numbers, the $2.6 trillion hedge fund industry was keeping a special watch on how Ackman, one of the industry's most high-profile managers, fared.
On the last day of February, the fund suffered a one-two punch when the stock of retailer JC Penney Company Inc lost 17 percent and supplements company Herbalife Ltd , which Pershing Square is shorting, climbed 7.6 percent.
Clearly Ackman, who runs a very concentrated fund and bets on only a few names at a time, had strong performers in the portfolio to offset the negative news on two of his prominent holdings.
Pershing Square, which counts pension funds in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Colorado among its investors, is performing better than the average hedge fund which is up only 2.4 percent this year, Hedge Fund Research reported.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; editing by Matthew Lewis)