Herbalife stock is up over 5% after hours after WSJ reports Bill Ackman (among others) made false statement about Herbalife's business models to regulators - in order to spur investigations into the company and lower its stock price. This comes just months after Ackman kinda-sorta-didn't-really insider-trade in the Allergan 'scam' that we detailed here. We suspect Whitney Tilson (and his Lumber Liquidators positions) is getting a little nervous now... and Carl Icahn is quietly laughing to himself.
"Wrong" again. Just two days ago we mentioned how world-renowned wrongness appears to be a pre-requisite for selling investing newsletters as Dennis Gartman unleashed his Nikkei 25,000 prediction on the world. Crucially though, it appears the great Gartman has taken the first step on the path to rejuvenation by 'admitting' his wrongness (though appears to have fallen short of making amends) as he told CNBC this morning, "I went neutral on stocks and I actually turned quite bearish for a couple of days – clearly that was wrong." What is clear - just as was proved by no lesser investing dynamo than Whitney Tilson - investing prowess is inversely proportional to the frequency of appearance on financial media... trade accordingly.
From Tepper's "Short The Euro," call (which he hopes does better than his "bond bull is over" call) to Icahn's "HY credit is in a bubble... and I am short" warning, The 2-day Robin Hood conference in NYC had something for everyone. Paul Tudor Jones thinks US equities will outperform the rest of the world this year but "the piper will be paid one day," and Larry Fink says "equities are health" after last week's correction... and Whitney Tilson is short Lumber Liquidators (trade accordingly).
After an incredible day in Herbalife - its best performance ever - following Bill Ackman's "death blow," none other than Whitney Tilson (who oddly has not been seen on CNBC for many months) has penned a letter to his investors explaining "why I am more confident of my Herbalife short position." As a gentle reminder, Mr. Tilson entered his Herbalife short in December 2012 in the low $20s (shortly after Ackman's initial pitch) and recently made it one of his firm's largest short positions. It appears there are now two ways by which Herbalife shares implode - Ackman buys a 'minority stake' and 'fixes it' or Whitney Tilson gets on TV and shifts to a long position...
- Frustrated by Karzai, U.S. Shifts Afghanistan Exit Plans (WSJ)
- Yellen Testimony Guide From Payrolls Report to Emerging Markets (BBG)
- Gold hits three-month high, shares up ahead of Yellen (Reuters)
- Tightfisted New Owners Put Heinz on Diet (WSJ)
- Senator describes "gruesome" bin Laden photos (Reuters)
- More reasons for the ongoing economic contraction: U.S. Winter Storm Seen Spreading Snow, Sleet Across South (BBG)
- Barclays Cuts Up to 12,000 Jobs as Quarterly Profit Falls (BBG)
- Boeing Considering 787-Size Medium-Range Jetliners (WSJ)
- AOL Chief Apologizes for ‘Distressed Babies’ Comment (BBG)
While the stock market ramp on the disappointing ECB press conference can be, somewhat, explained and was to be expected by the central bank-addicted market's renewed focus that since the ECB did nothing, it is now the BOJ's turn to ramp up Quantitative Easing - a thesis which has been floating since November, and at one point resulted in 700 pips of "priced in" USDJPY upside - one group of investors is having a bad day: all those short Green Mountain Coffee shares, which as we pointed out last night exploded to 52 week highs in the aftermath of the Coke minority investment announcement. This is today's maximum pain trade.
With 31% of the float short, Green Mountain, despite announcing weaker than expected numbers, are spiking over 45% on news that Coca-Cola is taking a 10% stake. Albeit at a discount to the price at which GMCR closed today ($80.88 close vs $74.98 purchase price); the massive squeeze is Volkswagen-reminiscent. As the following press release explains, The Keurig Cold System is in development and thus SodaStream is getting creamed in the after-hours market (down over 10%). It seems, once again, that Whitney Tilson has managed to get himself in a short squeeze.
It's just not Whitney Tilson's year/decade... the "money-manager" and co-founder of the invaluable Value Investor Insight newsletter has decided, with the exit of yet another partner - John Heins - that it is time to sell. In an email from the ex-financial-media-darling, Tilson explains "the business is a beautiful, high-margin cash cow," is looking for a partner to buy the business.
It would be tragic if it wasn't so hilarious. Nearly a year after we first suggested that Herbalife is the long of 2013, as a result of the epic short squeeze potential resulting from the Ackman announcement of his mega short,(promptly followed by the traditional Whitney Tilson piggyback) which it has been, rising from $25 to an all time high of $77.39 days ago, Herbalife has had enough of the so-called retail expert's (coughJCPcough) repeated allegations of fraud, and after taking a well-deserved victory lap costing Ackman hundreds of millions, has decided to hit him where it truly hurts - his clients. Bloomberg reports that Herbalife is approaching investors in Ackman’s hedge fund, suggesting they pull their money from the $12 billion firm.
With Ackman, Druckenmiller, Robertson, PTJ And Dimon On Deck, Here Are The Best "Robin Hood" Day 1 Hedge Fund IdeasSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/22/2013 07:57 -0500
Someone must have had an odd sense of humor to name a conference in which the most prominent US hedge funds appear, after Robin Hood - it seems in the New Normal the prince of thieves takes from the Middle Class and gives... to himself. Snyde remarks aside, yesterday was Day 1 of the Robin Hood investor conference, with such speakers as David Einhorn and Dan Loeb putting on their best book-talking face and pitching their currently marketable ideas (which they have put on long ago and are likely selling into strength). Below is a summary of the top recommendations from Bloomberg.
It just keeps getting worse and worse for Bill Ackman. A few weeks after the epic humiliation, not to mention even more epic losses, he suffered on his now defunct JCP long position (despite ample warnings by the likes of Zero Hedge who said long ago JCP is merely a melting icecube and fast-track Chapter 11/7 candidate) all those who predicted (such as Zero Hedge back in January) that an epic HLF short squeeze would result in the aftermath of Ackman's Herbalife short announcement leading to Ackman's ultimate capitulation, have been proven correct. Moments ago, in a letter to investors, Bill Ackman just announced that he has covered over 40% of his Herbalife short position, with his forced buy-in explaining the endless move higher in Herbalife stock in recent weeks. The explanation of being forced out of nearly half of his position is amusing: "we minimize the risk of so-called short squeezes or other technical attempts by market manipulators to force us to cover our position." So Ackman is forced out by his Prime Brokers so as not to be forced out by market manipulators? That's an interesting explanation for what is a far simple situation: booking your paper losses.
There is Whitney Tilson, there is Dennis Gartman, there is Bill Ackman, but when it comes to epic, blatant muppet genocide nobody, nobody in the history of Wall Street, can compare to Goldman's chief FX strategist Thomas Stolper. Nobody. "Trade Update: Closing long EUR/GBP after strong UK data offset other Sterling negative factors. We recommend closing long EUR/GBP positions for a potential negative return of 0.2%."
While we have heard this rumor before, the NY Post is reporting that CIT - the largest commercial lender/factor in the US apparel industry - has abruptly stopped supporting deliveries from smaller manufacturers to JCPenney stores. Insiders speculated that CIT got skittish after meeting with JCP officials yesterday and getting a glimpse of financials. It really is not Bill Ackman's day - HLF +10%, JCP -6.7%.
There was a brief period of confusion for a while when Goldman didn't have clear muppet-stomping trades on the book, and those who wished to frontrun the Goldman prop desk (and do the opposite of the muppet flow) were stuck furiously scratching their head. And granted while it's not a "Stolper", tonight we got two gifts (in the parlance of Whitney Tilson) with Goldman first telling its clients to sell gold following Goldman's lowering of its price target for the yellow metal (which as always means the hedge fund known as Goldman is buying what its clients are selling). And then, moments ago, we also learned that Goldman is also selling the 10 Year, which it advise muppets to buy.
From Whitney Tilson: "After a strong 12-year run, 2011 and 2012 were lost years. I feel very badly about this and apologize to you. But I know you don’t want an apology – you want performance! To that end, I’ve reflected on the mistakes I’ve made, learned from them, and taken significant steps to maximize our chances of success going forward: I’m now the sole portfolio manager and have dramatically simplified, focused, and de-risked the fund. I’m confident that my strategy is sound, I will execute it well going forward, and we will all profit."