Pershing Square Launches New Attack On Herbalife Amidst Ballooning Loss

Jul 30 2013 | 11:08am ET

Pershing Square Capital Management is lashing out as its loss on its short bet against nutritional supplements company Herbalife surged to $300 million.

Herbalife shares are up 84% this year after posting gains on higher-than-expected profits today. But Pershing Square, which announced a $1 billion short against in December and which had enjoyed a profit on it until recently, blasted the company's claims.

The hedge fund noted that Herbalife's earnings were reduced by a 31% increase in expenses, which Pershing Square attributed to promotions and higher salaries.

"Is the company buying revenue growth at the expense of operating income?" the hedge fund asked in a statement. Pershing Square also questioned Herbalife's disclosures on taxes, turnover and its use of an exchange rate in Venezuela "substantially better than what can be achieved in the market."

Pershing Square also laid into Herbalife's new auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, for its failure to review the second-quarter earnings report.

"In light of the fact that PwC was retained by Herbalife in May, why didn't it review the company's Q2'13 Form 10-Q?" Pershing Square asked.

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