NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's been a banner year for billionaire hedge fund magnate Bill Ackman. According to a recent Bloomberg report, his Pershing Square International fund has climbed 33% year-to-date, even managing to make a 0.7% gain in an extremely volatile October.
What is perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that just a handful of investments are driving Ackman's success. As of his latest 13F filing, the billionaire has just six stocks in his equity portfolio.
Here's a look at the companies that are propelling Bill Ackman's extraordinary 2014 run.
1. Allergan (AGN)
Allergan became Bill Ackman's most headline-grabbing move of the year when in April he disclosed a 9.7% stake in the Botox maker. He subsequently teamed up with Valeant (VRX) for a hostile takeover bid.
While the battle for Allergan is far from over, Ackman's largely already won. As of market close yesterday, Allergan has climbed 39.01% since Valeant and Pershing Square unveiled their intentions on April 22.
On paper, Ackman has gained nearly one billion dollars.
2. Air Products and Chemicals (APD)
Bill Ackman took an activist stance on Air Products and Chemicals in the third quarter of 2013. As of his most recent SEC filing, Pershing Square holds 20.55 million shares in the company. In February, Ackman said he believes the company's stock price could double under the correct management.
APD recently beat expectations on fiscal fourth-quarter earnings but fell short on revenue. Its price has climbed 25.01% over the past year, including 4.93% in the last month.
3. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP)
In recent quarters, Bill Ackman has been quietly cashing in on Canadian Pacific, which is today trading at more than triple the price he paid for the stock back in 2011. This year, Canadian Pacific continues to climb, as it's gained 35.93% year to date.
4. Burger King Worldwide (BKW)
With 38.39 million Burger King shares in his portfolio since the third quarter of 2012, Ackman has more than doubled his money on the investment. This year, he's made about $400 million on it.
5. Platform Specialty Products (PAH)
Ackman disclosed a 30.9% stake in Platform Specialty Products at the start of the year. He upped the ante even more in October with the purchase of an additional 9.4 million shares.
Since Ackman first bought into Platform Specialty Products on Jan. 27, it's climbed 78.33%.
6. Howard Hughes (HHC)
With 3.57 million shares of Howard Hughes in his portfolio since Q4 2010, Ackman has been one of the main shot-callers at the company for quite some time.
The real estate developer has gained nearly 300% since its creation and is up 25.16% in 2014.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.