Procter & Gamble sees multi-year highs despite CEO selling

August 29, 2012 05:26 AM
Don't be distracted by shiny things – stay focused.

While Bill Ackman and Pershing Square get more engaged with General Growth Properties (GGP) and Brookfield Asset Management (BAM.A), shares of Procter & Gamble (PG) have quietly reached multi-year highs — this, despite some notable insider selling.

On Aug. 14, 2012, according to insider filings, PG CEO Bob McDonald, sold 131,521 shares at an average price of $66.61. The total value of the transaction was $8,760,614. Following the sale, McDonald still holds more than 219,000 shares of PG.

On July 12, Pershing disclosed its new position in PG and shares have risen over 9.3% since then. Ackman hasn't been the only catalyst for the recent rise in PG share price. The company did report Q4/12 results and offered some soft guidance. Roughly 25% of Pershing's total listed U.S. equity holdings are in PG. Pershing holds 21,916,208 shares in PG, and all options for an additional 8,387,700 shares.

We note that Ackman has liquidated or reduced a number of Pershing's positions in order to fund its investment in PG. Ackman sold stakes in Citigroup (C), Kraft (KFT) and Family Dollar (FDO) in Q2/12. Ackman has a history of taking large positions in companies, and then aggressively pushing for changes that he believes will add value for investors.

In July, Ackman, speaking at a conference in New York City, said that he believes he can influence PG management even though Pershing owns just a l% stake in PG. Asked if he supports McDonald, Ackman said, "I look forward to meeting him." With PG and the row over GGP, Pershing's Q2/12 Shareholder Letter should make for some interesting reading.

Procter & Gamble (PG : NYSE : US$66.99), Net Change: -0.12, % Change: -0.18%, Volume: 7,228,701

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