Herbalife Ltd. (HLF): Vanguard Adds To Its Position

A new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that Vanguard Capital now holds a 4.66% stake in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). That amounts to more than 4.7 million shares of the controversial nutritional supplements company.

Vanguard ups stake in Herbalife

Vanguard records the purchase as being on Dec. 31. That’s a small increase from the amount reported in the firm’s regulatory filings as of Sept. 30. At that time, Vanguard held a 4.5% stake in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) with more than 4.5 million shares of the company.

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The firm is one of several major investors who have taken an interest in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) over the last year or so. According to Yahoo! Finance, Carl Icahn appears to be the biggest shareholder, with a nearly 17% stake. FMR, LLC is in second place, with a nearly 13% stake in Herbalife. Bill Ackman has continued to derail Herbalife’s growth efforts by continually calling it a pyramid scheme and pushing for an investigation. However, he has seen nothing but hurt since he announced his massive short of the company late in 2012.

Battle over Herbalife rages on

Meanwhile, the debate about whether Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is a pyramid scheme rages on. Regulators in the U.S. seem to be doing a great job of ignoring all the noise coming from multiple sources. First Bill Ackman, then organizations and even lawmakers began calling for an investigation into the company’s business practices. Even Canadian regulators have found something worth questioning, as they have launched their own investigation. However, U.S. regulators don’t seem too interested.

Many have compared Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) to competitor Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS). China recently opened an investigation into Nu Skin, and some thought it would make sense for the country to investigate Herbalife as well. However, that hasn’t happened either.

Shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) declined by about 1% during regular trading today.