Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) shares have risen by more than 1%, the stock continues to defy the huge short placed on it by Bill Ackman. According to a CNBC report however, the fund manager is not fazed by the current movement in the stock, and is dedicated to continuing the short.
According to Ackman, “We stand by everything we have said. We haven’t covered a share. And we look forward to the company’s rebuttal.” Ackman, who began publicly criticizing the company in mid-December, seems confident that the trade will work out in his favor.
The list of traders lining up opposite Ackman and betting long of the company has grown in the last couple of weeks. Ackman, in conversation with CNBC, was critical of investors who were going against him, particularly those asserting that the Federal Trade Commission probably won’t do anything about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).
Most of those publicly long on Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) admit that the company has a near-fraudulent business model, Ackman’s presentation swayed those who didn’t already know about the company’s fault. There is certainly a level of dishonesty in such trades, but when investors sense an opportunity to make money, little can stop them going for it.
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) will offer its rebuttal to Ackman’s characterization of its company next Thursday. According to CNBC, the company is also expected to announce a large buyback of its own stock at the meeting.
This fight is just starting, Ackman told CNBC that he will be preparing his own rebuttal to the one that comes from Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) executives. The market could sway either way, depending on the strength of the arguments made on both sides.
Even after the upward pressure on the stock in recent days, Ackman is not ready to give up on the Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) battle. If this drags out, and doesn’t emerge victorious, his funds return on the first three months of the year will not be inspiring. His returns, if the bet does work out, could be astonishing.
As recent filings have demonstrated, Ackman is building up a new fund, called Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., which he plans to float publicly on the London Stock Exchange. The filings suggested he had not transferred anything Herbalife related, instead sticking to the stock he was holding long, mainly in activist campaigns.
Ackman is an investor that likes to keep busy. He’s involved in campaigns to increase the value of several companies, he’s shorting Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), and also getting ready to go public with a fund for the first time. There’s a lot going on at Pershing Square, if Ackman can make it all work, it will certainly be impressive.
In the meantime, Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) shares continue to rise. The company’s stock price stands just over $37 this afternoon. That’s just about 20% less than the stock was trading for before Ackman began his campaign.