Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) is getting more aggressive against short seller Bill Ackman of Pershing Square. After seeing shares fall from over $42 to under $25 in December after Ackman disclosed his short sale position, the company has done a lot to defend itself against the allegation that it is a pyramid scheme. Now CEO Michael Johnson is going to appear on CNBC today to state his case which is in conjunction with Herbalife’s investor meeting that has been on the books.
The multi-level marketing firm for vitamins and supplements has actually seen a substantial recovery. In fact shares are back up to $41 and shares traded briefly as high as $42.99 on Thursday after shares hit a high of $41.90 on Wednesday on news that Daniel Loeb’s Third Point has taken a stake of over 8% in Herbalife. The reality is that this has been a difficult story based upon David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital asking questions about the company’s disclosures.
Another boost has come from market reports that Carl Icahn is getting involved. What Mr. Icahn can add to the mix here is perhaps unknown, but if Icahn can prove that the model is one which works then it may be yet another saving grace for Herbalife.
Stay tuned as this is still a developing story.
Jon C. Ogg