YTD Performance: +132%
52-Week High: $78.50
52-Week Low: $24.24
There’s nothing quite like a battle of billionaires — and their egos — to make for a great stock story, and Herbalife (HLF) has it all.
Technically, this story began at the end of last year when billionaire Bill Ackman accused HLF of being a pyramid scheme. His Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund took a huge short position, betting that the Federal Trade commission would shut Herbalife down.
Almost immediately, other billionaires smelling blood in the water (or with old scores to settle) took long positions in Herbalife. Carl Icahn, Dan Loeb and George Soros were just some of the multi-billionaire hedge fund operators squeezing Ackman’s short position for both fun and profit.
In the meantime, a top HLF salesman was found dead in an apparent suicide, Icahn attained two seats on the Herbalife board, the FTC sat on its hands, and a re-audit of Herbalife’s books showed nothing amiss.
And yet through all the volatility, punching and counterpunching, HLF more than doubled for the year-to-date, costing Ackman $500 million — and counting.