October 7, 2009 / 9:40 PM / 10 years ago

Hedge fund manager's call hurts Realty Income Corp.

BOSTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager William Ackman helped send Realty Income Corp (O.N), a real estate investment trust, down 4.5 percent on Wednesday after he identified it as good stock to bet against, analysts said.

Ackman, who manages $4.8 billion and whose investment ideas are closely followed in the markets, spoke at a conference in Texas on Tuesday where people who heard him speak said he identified Realty Income Corp as a possible stock to short.

Ackman, who runs New York-based Pershing Square Capital Management, was not immediately available for comment.

Realty Income Corp, which leases single-tenant properties to retail chains, fell as much as 7.5 percent during the day before closing off 4.5 percent at $23.58.

“Word just gets around on what he says and what he is thinking, and I can’t think of another reason why that stock is down so much today,” said Richard Moore, analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Moore did not attend the conference in Texas but heard about Ackman’s call from sources.

Pershing Square invests in a handful of stocks including retailer Target (TGT.N), payroll servicing company Automatic Data Processing Inc (ADP.O). and shopping mall REIT General Growth Properties Inc GGWPQ.PK, which is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Ackman, whose family has deep roots in the real estate market, last year suggested that retailer Target spin off the land under its stores as a REIT but Target rejected the plan.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing Bernard Orr

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