George Soros Reportedly Boosts Stake In Herbalife Ltd. (HLF)

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Soros Fund Management is scheduled to submit its Form 13F with the SEC on Tuesday

Soros Fund Management, the hedge fund headed by billionaire investor George Soros boosted its stake in Herbalife during the fourth quarter, according to report from Bloomberg based on information from people familiar with situation.

The information regarding the latest move of Soros Fund Management on its investment in Herbalife is still uncertain because its 13F filing for the fourth quarter is not yet available with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the sources, the hedge fund is scheduled to submit its Form 13F with the SEC on Tuesday.  They requested Bloomberg not to disclose their identity because the filing of Soros Fund Management is not yet public.

George Soros reduced Herbalife stake in 3Q

During the previous quarter, George Soros reduced its stake in Herbalife by 60% or 2,848,049 shares to 1,888,288 shares. If the hedge fund increased its position in the fourth quarter, it only means it is still supports the management of Herbalife and its prospects for the company despite the decline of its stock price.

Herbalife stock performance

The stock price of the company increased more than 3% to $33.87 per share at the time of this writing, around 1:10 in the afternoon in New York today.  The increase was probably driven by the report that George Soros still supports Herbalife.

Over the past 52 weeks, the shares of Herbalife traded between $27.60 and $70.08 per share. The company lost more than 49% of its stock value over the past year.

Activist investor, Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management continues to his attack on Herbalife as pyramid scheme.  Ackman started his allegations against the seller of weight loss and nutrition products in 2012, which resulted to investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (SEC) and Attorney Generals in different states.

SEC investigation on Herbalife may be ongoing

Las week, the Probes Reporter suggested that there is probably an ongoing investigation against Herbalife by the SEC. The report indicated that ne data “re-affirms risk of SEC investigative activity” since Herbalife indicated a “stealth disclosure of a SEC probe” in its regulatory filing on February 2013.

Herbalife disclosed that the commission’s Division of Enforcement requested a meeting and requested some documents. Investors haven’t received any official update from Herbalife related to the matter.

Meanwhile, Tim Ramey of Pivotal Research Group, a well-known bull on Herbalife reduced his earnings estimate for Herbalife from $1.34 to $1.22 per share for the fourth quarter. He also estimated that the company’s ales would decline by 3.4% due to the impact of currency exchange rates. Ramey maintained a Buy rating and $75 price target for the stock.

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