Ackman Ready for "Counterattack" on Herbalife (HLF) as Short Bet Turns Against Him

January 15, 2013 3:06 PM EST
With shares of Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) up 85 percent from recent lows and his short bet getting dangerously close to being underwater, Bill Ackman is apparently ready to fight back.

FOX Business Network (FBN) Senior Correspondent Charlie Gasparino reports that founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management Bill Ackman is planning to launch a "counterattack."

"What you hear now is an interesting behind the scenes battle going on," Gasparino comments. "Ackman is still apparently in Burma or wherever he is scuba diving. He's going to plan a counterattack from the investor meeting last week. That counterattack from what I understand is next salvo is coming later this month or early February, that's what sources are saying."

Earlier today there were rumors floating around that Ackman raised his short bet to 27 million shares, although that couldn't be confirmed. If true, then Ackman could be getting close to losing money on the trade.

In the past it was reported that Ackman had $1 billion riding on a short of 20 million shares, which would suggest a price of around $50/share. If he has since raised this bet to 27 million shares then it would suggest that his cost basis is much lower, not something you want to see if you are short.

Yesterday, D.A. Davidson's analyst Timothy Ramey said he is predicting the "Mother of all Short Squeezes (MOASS)" in the stock, citing an expected positive fourth quarter pre-announcement and update on the company's remaining $950 million share buyback authorization.

Yesterday, data showed that 37,298,384 shares, or 35.1% of float, is now short. This is up 11,0777,272 shares from the prior report.

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