According to Bloomberg, George Soros just boosted his stake in Herbalife, but the news isn’t official quite yet. Soros and Carl Icahn are in one corner and Pershing Square manager Bill Ackman is in the other over the future of the nutrition company. Ackman wants to see Herbalife’s demise and alleged it is an illegal pyramid scheme. His short position has seen some gains, as the stock dropped around 50% last year.
Soros sold 60% of his stake in 2014, after the value had fallen over 73%. It is apparent, however, the Soros thinks there might be a new lease on life for Herbalife, in spite of its trials and tribulations. The stock rose around 6.5% following the news of Soros’ increased stake in the company.
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Soros must know something that Morgan Stanley does not, since an analyst reduced price targets for Herbalife by as much as 30%. Management said it expects a slow year , and the strength of the dollar is hurting the company overseas. Meredith Adler, the Morgan Stanley analyst, slashed estimates from $509 million to $322 million, and expects additional declines for 2016. The company has been cleaning up its act in response to accusations its representatives make extravagant claims about the effectiveness of Herbalife’s products. Management said it was putting in place more stringent rules to contain the hype often expressed by salespeople.