William Ackman’s Hedge Fund Takes Stake in Netflix

Wednesday - 26/01/2022 19:58

William Ackman said he has ‘long admired’ Netflix founder Reed Hastings. PHOTO: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

William Ackman said he has ‘long admired’ Netflix founder Reed Hastings. PHOTO: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS
Pershing Square has purchased more than 3.1 million shares of the streaming service

Billionaire investor William Ackman said his hedge fund has acquired 3.1 million shares of Netflix Inc., NFLX -1.83% attracted by the recent stock sell-off.

Pershing Square, the fund, said it acquired a stake in Netflix due to a combination of investors’ negative reaction to the streaming company’s subscriber growth in the fourth quarter and recent market volatility.

“I have long admired Reed Hastings and the remarkable company he and his team have built. We are delighted that the market has presented us with this opportunity,” Mr. Ackman said in a tweet.

Pershing Square’s stake equals roughly 0.68% of the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company, based on roughly 455.8 million diluted shares outstanding at Dec. 31.

Netflix declined to comment.

Shares of Netflix were ahead about 4% in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Through the session’s close, the stock was down roughly 40% for the year. It closed Wednesday at $359.70, compared with a high of $691.69 on Nov. 17.

The company said last week that it missed its subscriber estimate for the fourth quarter, adding 8.3 million subscribers, short of the projected 8.5 million. It also said it expects to add a much smaller number of subscribers this quarter than it did a year ago as it contends with a crowded streaming marketplace and ongoing disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month, Netflix also raised the price for its monthly plans for customers in the U.S. and Canada, the first such increase since 2020.

Write to Denny Jacob at denny.jacob@wsj.com

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Appeared in the January 27, 2022, print edition as 'Ackman’s Hedge Fund Acquires Stake in Netflix.'

Author: Editors Desk

 Keywords: Netflix

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