A CNBC Anchor Called Out Herbalife's Most Bullish Analyst For Taking A Pay Check From Its Biggest Individual Shareholder

In case you missed “Options Action” on Friday afternoon, CNBC anchor Melissa Lee called out famed Herbalife bull Tim Ramey, questioning whether or not he’s an objective research analyst because he accepts a pay check from Herbalife’s largest individual shareholder.

As you can imagine with such an accusation, things got pretty heated.

Here’s a transcript from the exchange:

Melissa Lee: “And Tim, I’ve gotta ask you this as well because you used to work for D.A. Davidson and you were known for being one of the biggest Herbalife bulls on the Street. You’ve been on Wall Street for quite some time. Right now, you’re working for Pivotal, but you’re also getting a pay check essentially from one of Herbalife’s biggest shareholders. Do you actually consider yourself to be an objective research analyst at this point? Or are you being paid for this rating?”

Tim Ramey: “Not at all.”

Lee: “Not at all? Even though you’re taking a pay check from Post?”

Ramey: “That’s true. Post has nothing to do with Herbalife.”

At the time of that interview, Ramey had a price target of $US110 per share for Herbalife’s stock. He initiated that rating on October 20th.

Yesterday, he cut the target to $US75 after Herbalife reported disappointing third quarter earnings results and lower-than-expected revenue guidance for 2015.

Ramey, who has formed a reputation for being incredibly bullish and vocal on Herbalife, recently returned to the sell-side as a food, beverage and nutrition analyst for Pivotal Research.

Back in January, Ramey left his post as a D.A. Davidson analyst to team up with Post Holdings CEO Bill Stiritz to do “some consulting on strategy, M&A, and corporate development for a significant company.”

Stiritz, 78, is the largest individual shareholder of Herbalife and he’s gotten absolutely smoked on his investment so far.

This summer Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager who is famously shorting Herbalife to zero, said that Ramey had been fired from D.A. Davidson. Ackman later had to retract that comment.

In his current role, Ramey still consults for Post Holdings.

Here’s the CNBC clip: (Watch at 1:45)

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