California-based multi-level nutritional products sellerHerbalife — the company at the center of an epic clash of billionaire hedge fund titans — is scheduled to report third quarter earnings results today.
On average, analysts expect Herbalife to report adjusted earnings per share of $US1.14, up 9.8% year-over-year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Sales are expected to come in at $US1.197 billion, up 17.7% year-over-year. Net income adjusted is expected to come in at $US122.333 million, up 3.9% year-over-year, Bloomberg data shows.
Herbalife, which sells products such as weight loss shakes and supplements, has been caught in the middle of a hedge fund war.
Late last year, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who runs Pershing Square Capital, publicly declared that he was shorting 20 million shares, or $US1 billion, worth of Herbalife stock with a price target of $US0.
Ackman believes the company is a “pyramid scheme” that targets lower income people, especially from the Hispanic population. He thinks the Federal Trade Commission will be persuaded to investigate and shut the company down.
A bunch of other hedge fund managers have disagreed with Ackman. A few of them even snapped up long positions after he gave his 342-slide presentation. The most notable is Carl Icahn, Ackman’s long time rival.
Icahn is the largest shareholder in Herbalife with more than 16.9 million shares, or a 16.46% stake. He has said that he believes Ackman will be the victim of the “mother of all short squeezes.”
Icahn told Fox Business Network today that he thinks Herbalife will continue to grow. He also said he doesn’t think the company hurts anyone.
Daniel Loeb of Third Point had a sizeable stake in the company earlier this year. He exited that position for a nice profit.
George Soros’ family office hedge fund owns more than 5 million shares of Herbalife.
Ackman complained to the SEC that Soros’ fund securities laws when that Herbalife stake was revealed. Days later, it was reported that Soros redeemed all his money from Ackman’s Pershing Square.
So far, Ackman’s short has been disastrous for him. Since December 2012, shares of surged more than 56%.
What’s more is Ackman had to reposition his short at the beginning of this month in an effort to reduce risk. Pershing Square swapped more than 40% of its equity short position in Herbalife for put options.
Still, Ackman remains confident in his “pyramid scheme” belief, according to the fund’s investor letter from earlier this month.
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