Herbalife Analyst Says Stock Is 'Best Idea' For '14

Jan 7 2014 | 1:59am ET

An analyst who has sparred with Pershing Square Capital Management's William Ackman over nutritional supplements company Herbalife is betting that company's 2014 could rival its 2013.

Herbalife shares soared last year, costing Pershing Square about a half-billion dollars and leading D.A. Davidson's Tim Ramey to "thank Mom, Jesus and the short-sellers." Ackman announced a $1 billion short against Herbalife in December 2012, calling the company a pyramid scheme. Ramey, who called Herbalife his "single best idea" in 2013, credited the scrutiny brought about by Ackman's allegations for the stock's surge.

Now, he's doing it again, saying that Herbalife is his best idea for 2014.

"Unleashed from the bear raid, Herbalife should trade on growth prospects," Ramey said. And those prospects are impressive.

"It has impressive margins, huge cash flow, which it has used to benefit shareholders with aggressive share repurchase and dividend increases, and its revenue growth beats anything else we cover," Ramey wrote.

Ackman, however, has not raised the white flag, alleging last month that Herbalife had lied about ending its lead-generation recruiting methods and alleging that its Chinese operation "likely violates the multi-level marketing restrictions" there.

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