A terrible month for two of its largest positions doomed Pershing Square Capital Management to a red July.
The New York-based hedge fund fell 2.2% on the month, Reuters reports. The firm was burned by its $1 billion short bet against nutritional supplements company Herbalife, whose shares soared 40% in July, and its big long bet on retailer J.C. Penney Co., whose shares dropped 17% on the month.
Pershing Square, which manages $12 billion, has suffered at least $300 million in losses on Herbalife, which the hedge fund's founder, William Ackman, has called a "pyramid scheme."
Most of Pershing Square's losses came in the second half of the month, according to Reuters. The hedge fund had been up 2.2% in the first half of July, pushing its year-to-date gains to about 8%.
Two weeks later, its year-to-date gains had been cut to just 3.8%.