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5 Stocks Bill Ackman Is Betting on in 2012

General Growth Partners

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After J.C. Penney's number-two spot on Pershing Square's portfolio comes General Growth Partners (GGP - Get Report), a stock that's had a very different year from the department store chain: shares of GGP are up more than 14.5% so far in 2012, besting the broad market by a wide margin. GGP makes up $1.3 billion on Pershing Square's portfolio, and the hedge fund owns 7.7% of the firm's outstanding shares as a consequence.

GGP owns interests in approximately 170 regional shopping malls across the U.S., a business that provides the firm with a combination of consistent lease income and a smaller cut of retail sales at its properties. As a commercial REIT, it's best to think of GGP as an income generation vehicle; the firm rents out stores using long-term triple-net leases that keep volatile expenses like taxes, insurance, and maintenance off of GGP's list of responsibilities. That's reflected in GGP's 2.3% dividend yield right now.

Ackman was one of the most conspicuous backers of GGP back in 2009 and 2010 when the REIT was struggling to stay afloat (it went bankrupt in 2009). And so far, his investment has paid off in spades. Still, it remains the number-three position in his firm's portfolio by size for a good reason: he thinks GGP's got more to pay investors in 2012.

To see the rest of Bill Ackman's plays - including a complete list of which stocks he added or sold off, check out the Pershing Square Portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
C $52.82 -0.99%
CP $187.30 -0.97%
GGP $26.73 -0.93%
JCP $8.19 0.49%
MATX $42.86 0.97%

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