With Herbalife, you must enter on the ground floor
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The path to success at Herbalife is the opposite of what works on the stock market: you have to climb near the top.
The tiered marketing company, which sells health supplements through multiple layers of distributors, has garnered its fair share of criticism over the years – none as harsh as the lashes it has received from the manager silver-haired hedge fund William Ackman from December 2012. The stock fell 43% in a matter of days to a multi-year low when he accused it of being a pyramid scheme and announced it had sold his shares short, betting they would go to zero.
But taking the other side of the trade would have been a good idea – so good, in fact, that other hedge fund managers Dan Loeb and Carl Icahn, as well as Soros Fund Management, piled up. Now that the dust has settled, Mr. Icahn was the last to leave the scene. Seeing little role for an activist, he sold his last of his shares a few months ago for what would have been a profit of around $ 1.3 billion.
This does not mean, however, that all the gains have been accumulated in this stock. It is now only 9 times the expected profits which, with the exception of the Covid-19 market crash last March, have been close to their cheapest since the peak of Mr. Ackman’s campaign 5 years ago. years and a half. The multiple was 15.4 times at the start of 2020.