Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) shareholders are apparently demanding a “more aggressive” buyback program according to Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino. They believe that since the company is buying back shares slowly, it’s “prepping for a long battle” with activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. Gasparino reported the news on his Twitter feed a short while ago. And Herbalife shareholders aren’t the only ones getting up in arms over the very public argument between the company and Ackman, whose short thesis on the stock sent it into a nosedive in December. Pershing Square Capital Management’s investors are “getting very antsy” about it too.
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) started buying back shares on Jan. 17, and the company’s slow plan seems to go along with some other evidence that the nutritional supplement company might be gearing up to battle Ackman. The New York Post’s Michelle Celarier reports that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) registered the domain names “therealackman.net,” “billackman.net” and “therealbillackman.com” on Jan. 18, a day after the company started its slow buyback plan.
At this point those domain names are inactive. Ackman himself has already taken to the internet in his battle against Herbalife. His paid ad “factsaboutherbalife.com” was at the top of the Google search engine rankings on a search for the company’s name. That website explains Ackman’s short thesis in detail, including the lengthy slide presentation he gave in December.
There’s no denying that stories about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) are getting attention right now. Carl Icahn, who was believed to have held a stake in the company at some point, debated heatedly with Ackman for 30 minutes last week on CNBC, bringing in major ratings for the network while it was on.