Bill Ackman Says Herbalife's Business Is Declining
Bill Ackman, activist investor and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, spoke on Bloomberg TV this morning about one of his fund's most controversial positions: a $1 billion short sale of Herbalife Ltd (NYSE: HLF).
So far, 2014 has been a good year for Ackman and other Herbalife shorts, as the stock has fallen nearly 54 percent year to date.
However, Ackman proclaimed this morning that the slide in Herbalife’s business is far from over. He believes that Herbalife’s business will continue to decline. “You’ve seen that in Q2, Q3, you’ll see that again in Q4,” he said.
But is Ackman right about Herbalife’s business?
Let's Look At The Numbers
Herbalife’s diluted earnings per share (EPS) have taken a nosedive over the past couple of quarters. In Q3 2014, Herbalife’s net income of $11.25 million produced a $0.13 diluted EPS, compared to $1.32 in Q3 2013.
Revenue growth is also down for Herbalife in 2014.
Although still positive, Herbalife’s $1.26 billion Q3 2014 revenue represented about 3.5 percent year-over-year growth.
Herbalife’s stock, lastly, is down nearly three percent on Wednesday to around $36.30 after Ackman’s comments.
At these levels, value metrics such as a price to earnings ratio (P/E) of 11.2, a forward P/E of 6.7, and a price to free cash flow (P/FCF) of 8.8 mean Herbalife stock could be attractive to some investors.
However, the company’s projected five-year annual growth rate of 2.4 percent means that the stock’s price to earnings growth ratio (PEG) is currently 4.7.
Investors on both sides of the Herbalife trade will have to wait until the company’s next earnings report is released on February 17 to find out if Ackman’s predictions about Herbalife’s Q4 results are accurate.
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