Investors apparently think the odds are stacked against Bill Ackman in Herbalife Ltd (HLF) because they pushed shares higher after he indicated he may be the only major investor shorting it.
Bill Ackman may have sent shares of Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) into a nosedive when he first announced his massive short of the stock. But what a different a year makes. He reiterated his view again today on Bloomberg TV, and guess what? Shares surged, rising while he was still talking and ending up by more than 5% after he finished.
Ackman has lost $500 million on Herbalife
Perhaps one of the reasons Ackman’s comments sent shares of Herbalife higher is because of one comment he made on Bloomberg TV. Julia La Roche of Business Insider reports that he said he doesn’t know any other major investor who is also shorting Herbalife right now. Apparently investors took that as a very telling comment and decided to pile in with the majority of major investors who are on the long side.
So far, Bill Ackman says he has lost between $400 million and $500 million on his short of Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF), and after today’s gains, his losses are only rising. Before speaking on Bloomberg TV, he also spoke against the company at the Robin Hood Investors Conference, which is closed to the press.
A spokesman for the nutritional supplements company told Reuters today that Ackman had nothing new to say and that he can add his short bet on the company to his “list of ‘sizeable’ investment losses.”
Hedge fund managers line up on Herbalife
Bill Ackman’s loudly proclaimed short position in Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) last year kicked off a storm of hedge fund investments into the company. If anything, Herbalife has greatly benefited from his complaints about it. Carl Icahn, who many consider to be Ackman’s arch-nemesis, took a long position and defended the company against Ackman.
Several other well-known hedge fund managers have also taken long positions on Herbalife at some point in the past year. Dan Loeb was long, but he cashed out already with a $50 million profit. Stan Druckenmiller, Kyle Bass, Richard Perry and George Soros have also gone long on Herbalife.
Bill Stiritz, CEO of Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HLF), holds a more than 6% stake in Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF), and he has reportedly been approaching investors about taking it private.