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How Herbalife Is Pushing Back Against the Shorts

By Motley Fool Staff - May 18, 2016 at 4:28PM

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Bill Ackman is probably not too thrilled about Herbalife’s first-quarter earnings report.

In this segment from the Motley Fool Money radio show, Chris Hill and Ron Gross talk about why Herbalife's (HLF 2.61%) stock saw a significant pop last week, despite the numerous unresolved legal concerns with the FTC.

There were some serious charges being hurled against the company, yet despite big money being bet against it, the dietary supplements maker seemingly is sticking to its knitting with its business. A few months ago, the concerns being expressed about Herbalife seemed to practically spell impending ruin for the company, now there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on May 6, 2016.

Chris Hill: Herbalife's first-quarter profits came in higher than expected. Stock is up 12% on Friday, and Bill Ackman's billion-dollar bet against this company really isn't working out well, Ron.

Ron Gross: Stock's up 40% over the last year. There's two stories going on. There's the activist component with Ackman attacking them, using words like "pyramid scheme." Those are big words, right? And then, there's "how is the company executing?" And the company continues to put up relatively decent numbers. Sales are up 11% if you exclude currency effects, and they raised guidance for the year. They continue to do well. I think the stock is actually moving on the news that they're in advanced talks with the FTC to settle some of these things that perhaps Mr. Ackman was accusing them of. 

They said a fine could be as much as $200 million, which, for a $6 billion company, actually isn't that bad. I probably think some people heaved a sigh of relief there and sent the stock up higher. But they said there's a number of open issues with the FTC, a range of possible outcomes, including potential litigation or perhaps a settlement. So, there's a lot of open items here, but I think people are saying, "OK, it looks like we're going to have a resolution here." And the stock will trade as the company executes.

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