Year-to-date gains: 93%
Float Short (as of 7/31): 44%
Bill Ackman’s very public hammering of the company has made Herbalife (HLF) the most famous short in recent memory — and it is squeezing the hell out of the hedge fund manager.
Maybe HLF is is a pyramid scheme, as Ackman contends, and maybe it’s not. One thing that is for certain is that Herbalife has became ground zero in a clash of billionaire titans when Carl Icahn took a long position.
Icahn’s been right so far in this trade, but that hasn’t dissuaded folks from following Ackman’s play. A full 44% of Herbalife’s float was sold short as of the end of July, or nearly 31 million shares. That’s up from 30.2 million a month earlier.
Meanwhile, the stock has soared 93% thus far in 2013.