The following note from Caris & Co. on HLF (which launched Herbalife in September at a Buy and a $75/share PT) has got to be the worst sell side note in history. The catalyst, according to the firm: what David Einhorn may or may not say. Now that is true value added. Next up: Goldman goes long IBM because it flipped heads.
HLF DOWNGRADE 1/ BUY to 3/ AVG the probability is higher than 50% that David Einhorn will present HLF as a short at the Ira Sohn conference on May 16, sending the stock down more. If HLF is not his topic, the share price will jump sharply but we cannot maintain a 1*/Buy rating when we do not believe investors should buy HLF between now and May 16. Our confidence in our EPS and cash flow estimates and in HLF's management, business model and sustainability of growth remains high, but we are lowering our rating- Caris
In other words: we like the company but are downgrading it because what someone who does not like it may or may not say. In yet other words, we admit that Wall Street is all about the herding effect (in which lemmings are crowded by prominent hedge funders who have long since established their position and are now merely looking to unload to the stupid and the slow), and lastly admit that we have absolutely no clout, so please ignore us.
And someone pays these people for something?