Herbalife Shares Now Above Ackman Top
Shares of Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) surged on Monday, trading up over 8 percent. At current levels -- near $43.50 -- shares are above the level they were trading at when Bill Ackman came public with his bearish thesis on the company.
On December 20, the day when Ackman gave his presentation as to why Herbalife was a "pyramid scheme," shares were trading around $36. The day before, when CNBC first reported that Ackman had sold short Herbalife, shares were trading around $42.
The catalyst for the move on Monday may have been an article in the New York Post.
Shares of Herbalife hit a post-Ackman low near $25. Since then, Herbalife's shares have been steadily rallying back as several hedge fund managers have piled on the trade -- from the other side.
Bob Chapman went so far as to make Herbalife a 35 percent position in his fund. Third Point's Dan Loeb, known most recently for his tinkering with Yahoo's (NASDAQ: YHOO) management, also went long Herbalife, dismissing Ackman's charges in a note to his clients.
The New York Post notes "the smart money is rooting for Loeb."
In any case, the Herbalife story appears to be far from over. Ackman has promised to continue his crusade against the company. Meanwhile, the SEC has opened an inquiry into Herbalife, although there is no guarantee it would produce any kind of meaningful action.
If Ackman is ultimately wrong, there is likely further upside for Herbalife shares. The stock was trading around $70 in the first half of 2012.
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