Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) has been the focal point of controversy since activist investor announced he was shorting the stock in December. He gave an extensive (to say the least) explanation of his short thesis for the stock. But while less than two months ago, both Ackman and Herbalife bulls like Carl Icahn were winning, now it looks like Ackman is losing.
Bill Ackman’s Potential Herbalife Losses
New York Post reporter Michelle Celarier ran some calculations, and it looks like Ackman is now about $10 million in the hole on his Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) short. At one time, his paper profits were as much as $480 million.
Celarier reports that Ackman’s short of Herbalife started losing him money on Tuesday. Regulatory filings have shown that he was shorting over 20 million shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) at around $50 per share. This morning Herbalife is still trading just slightly above $50 per share.
Bill Ackman’s Losses Mean Icahn’s Gains In Herbalife
Meanwhile Icahn, who stepped into the fracas over Herbalife and took a long position in the company, has made about $288 million, according to the Post’s calculations. Regulatory filings indicate that Icahn owned 16.9 million shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF).
The Herbalife Short Squeeze
While some investors who were also shorting Herbalife moved to cover, Ackman likely stayed in the game longer. We’ll have to wait until his next regulatory filing to see whether he has moved to cover his short in recent days.
Ackman has maintained that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is a pyramid scheme, although the company denies it. Since the controversy began, the company has also faced a separate struggle with the accounting firm it hired. KPMG resigned after a scandal involving insider trading allegations involving Herbalife shares.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it had hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to re-audit the three years of financial statements that were withdrawn by KPMG and to audit this year’s financial statements.