Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) Highlights: Buyback Talks, Jim Chanos, Options Trading & More

Editor’s Note: Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Herbalife puts in all-time high on buyback talk (MarketWatch)
Shares of Herbalife hit an all-time high Tuesday, fueled by talk of an aggressive buyback operation by the nutritional supplements marketer. Shares traded as high as $73.91 earlier in the session and remained more than 3% higher in afternoon trading. As Moneybeat noted, Tuesday’s high marks the stock’s return to levels it reached in April 2012, immediately prior to provocative questions from hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who was short the stock. Last December Bill Ackman went public with a huge short position on the company, arguing that it’s nothing more than a pyramid scheme. Ackman’s bet in turn fueled buying by Carl Icahn, who’s now up hundreds of millions of dollars on the stock.

Jim Chanos puppeteer

Jim Chanos Talks China, Tech Stocks and Herbalife (MSFT) (AAPL) (HLF) (StreetInsider.com)
Jim Chanos talked to Erik Schatzker, Stephanie Ruhle and Cory Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” earlier today. The hedge fund manager discussed the continued dangerous credit situation in China. He also cautions on tech stocks with limited floats and he’s gotten out of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) since Kynikos’ last filing. He also weighed in on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). On Herbalife: “We were short this last year. When the stock took a nose dive on Bill Ackman’s disclosure of his position, we felt the risk reward changed. I’m watching from the sidelines like everyone else…My view is, just as an analyst, that any business that is predicated on selling overpriced products to consumers and/or distributors is ultimately a flawed business model.”

Bitter Herbalife Battle Pits Antonio Villaraigosa Against An Old Friend (LA Weekly)
The bitter fight over Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is shaping up to be a major opportunity for termed-out Latino politicians. First it was former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who signed on two weeks ago as a “senior adviser” to the embattled multi-level marketing firm. Now it turns out that Fabian Núñez, the former speaker of the state Assembly, has agreed to work for Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager who is trying to drive Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) out of business. Núñez, now a partner in the lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs, said he has been hired to “put a spotlight” on Herbalife’s business practices. Villaraigosa and Núñez are old friends. But they now find themselves on opposite sides of a high-stakes Wall Street battle.

Herbalife Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (HLF) (Zolmax)
Shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors purchased 40,329 call options on the stock, AnalystRatingsNetwork reports. This is an increase of 326% compared to the typical daily volume of 9,476 call options. A number of research firms have recently commented on HLF. Analysts at Argus upgraded shares of Herbalife from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Wednesday, August 21st. They now have a $80.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $4.80.

Buying back Herbalife? (CNBC.com)

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