Icahn Hikes Stake In Herbalife Again, Now Owns 16.5% Of Company; Shorts Sweating
It was exactly two months since Icahn last issued a 13D in Herbalife, at which time he reported that he owned 15.5% of the company, following yet another stock buying spree. Moments ago, the billionaire, set on a mission to crucify Bill Ackman, updated his latest holdings in HLF stock with another 13D filing, which shows that on March 8 and May 3, his various funds added another 934 thousand shares, bringing his total ownership of Herbalife to 16.48%, or 16,966,485 shares and rising. Obviously the recent earnings report, which hiked the company's year end outlook, has hardly dented Icahn's enthusiasm for inciting either a short covering spree, or for eventually going ahead and tendering (or going hostile, using zero cost debt of course courtesy of a Jefferies highly confident letter) for whatever shares he doesn't already own.
Needless to say, with every additional 13D, the shorts, of which there is a lot or about 38.7% of the total float, get more and more nervous: at what point will another major holder pull their borrow and force a buying, and when will there finally be less float than shorted interest? Volkswagen short squeeze afficionados want to know.