Activist hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman wasn’t afraid to share his thoughts on two mega-corporations while speaking at the Value Investing Congress in New York on Monday.
Ackman first issued a challenge for Proctor & Gamble (NASDAQ:PG) to find creative ways to drive change and boost the value of the company. He criticized P&G leadership for the company’s current struggles, including CEO Bob McDonald, whom Ackman suggests is being kept “on a short leash.”
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However, Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund owns about $1.8 billion worth of P&G shares, believes he can influence the company’s senior management, and is confident in their motivation to make necessary improvements.
Ackman then went on to praise J.C. Penney Co. (NASDAQ:JCP) and CEO Ron Johnson, claiming that despite recent struggles the company is a solid investment. Ackman pointed to J.C. Penney’s strategy of leasing space within its stores to other brands as a reason for investors to be optimistic about the company’s future.
“He is building a mall within a mall,” Ackman said of Johnson’s unique approach. “If you can think more than three months ahead, this is a very interesting story.”